Making the Core Contingent: Professional Agency Work and its Consequences in UK Social Services

Kim Hoque, Ian Kirkpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent times, the UK has witnessed a steady growth in the use of agency workers to fill core professional roles in public sector organizations. Similar trends have been noted elsewhere, particularly in Australia and the US. In this paper our objective is to explore some of the consequences of this growth, drawing on case study research on social services. We point to a number of problems associated with the management of agency workers and to the potentially negative consequences for the quality of services. These problems, in turn, may impact on key aspects of a (largely functional) public service employment model founded on strong internal labour markets, employment stability and collegial ethos. We also note that while there are ways in which public organizations can manage this situation, certain constraints may prevent them from doing so.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-344
JournalPublic Administration
Volume86
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Making the Core Contingent: Professional Agency Work and its Consequences in UK Social Services'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this