Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

We are grateful to the individuals at the organizations we studied and hope that we did justice to them in our effort to analyze the complexity of their world. ...

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1. The Temporary Advantage: Introduction

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pp. 1-31

The story of the explosion of temporary employment and the challenge to the permanent employment contract in the last half of the twentieth century has been told many times. Researchers from a variety of academic disciplines have written about it, as have activists who organize to help American workers maintain a decent standard of living and a modicum of dignity, ...

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2. The Social Construction of New Markets and Products

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pp. 32-68

In the mid-twentieth century the temporary help service industry succeeded in recasting temporary employment from a marginal to a normative practice. But, as argued in chapter 1 institutional and legal market-making activities can’t fully explain this success. ...

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3. “We’re Not Body Pushers”: Constructing a Pool of Good Temps

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pp. 69-97

For a temporary help service agency, attracting, developing, keeping, and controlling good temps is by no means automatic or straightforward. Nor is convincing people who really want permanent jobs that a temporary job is acceptable. ...

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4. Softening “Rough and Tough Managers”: Creating “Good Enough” Jobs for Temps

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pp. 98-121

Temporary help service agencies have a considerable investment in producing a pool of workers who will accept the terms of temporary employment and work in a reliable, effective fashion. Precarious as their acceptance may be, it is the foundation for participation in a system of contingent employment. ...

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5. Shaping and Stabilizing the Personnel Policy Environment

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pp. 122-147

The elephant in the room thus far is the human resources manager. In the previous chapter, HR managers appeared on stage as important actors in the construction of new employment relations: adversaries of some shop floor managers, novitiates who enlisted Select Labor’s help on occasion, and begrudging recipients of agency staff’s brokering activities. ...

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6. Do Good Enough Temporary Jobs Make Good Enough Temporary Employment? The Case for Transitional Mobility

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pp. 148-176

Select Labor shaped and sustained the labor market for temporary workers in a variety of ways. Its staff extended many genuine forms of assistance and guidance to people seeking temporary jobs. They tried to select people who showed promise of being good, quality temporary workers and, once hiring them, tried to further construct and maintain them as such. ...

Appendix I: Analyzing the Management Media

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pp. 177-182

Appendix II: Frequently Asked Questions about the Economic and Legal Dimensions of Temporary Employment

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pp. 183-190

Notes

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pp. 191-210

References

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pp. 211-228

Index

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pp. 229-236