The Good Temp

The Good Temp


By (author) Vicki Smith, By (author) Esther B. Neuwirth

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  • Publisher: ILR Press
  • Format: Paperback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 216mm x 18mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0801477964
  • ISBN 13: 9780801477966
  • Illustrations note: 5, 3 black & white tables, 2 charts
  • Sales rank: 1,732,503

Product description

Temporary agencies place approximately two and a half million people in jobs each day in the United States. Every year, about twelve million people use these placement agencies to find temporary work. Many Americans, even those who desire permanent jobs, decide to enter the labor market through the portal of temporary agencies. Compared with the post-World War II era, when it was a marginal labor practice, temporary employment is today an entrenched feature of jobs and labor markets. How have temporary employment relationships become so widespread and normalized?In The Good Temp, Vicki Smith and Esther B. Neuwirth provide some novel answers to this question. Their provocative analysis is based on an insider's view of the interior dynamics of a temporary help agency in Silicon Valley. It incorporates a historical perspective on the rise of the temporary help service industry. Smith and Neuwirth document how this powerful industry not only created a new market for temporary labor but also played a fundamental role in the erosion of the permanent employment model. They analyze how agencies themselves came to manufacture and market this reinvented product-the good temp, an employee who is effective and efficient, committed, and sometimes preferable to a permanent staff member.Joining extensive participant observation data with historical analysis, The Good Temp contains some surprising findings about temporary employment today and fills a significant gap in our understanding of this important labor relationship.

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Review quote

"How agencies have defined, stabilized, and expanded 'temporary work' is a big story. By serving as the intermediary between this new type of employee and the organizations that hire them, they have played a crucial role in helping to frame how we experience employment today." Paul M. Hirsch, James Allen Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Organization and Chair, Department of Management and Organization, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University"