University of Twente Student Theses


Different but alike? How client firms compare online labour platforms and temp agencies as outsourcing options

Vukelic, M. (2022) Different but alike? How client firms compare online labour platforms and temp agencies as outsourcing options.

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Abstract:This study compares characteristics of different labour market intermediaries (LMIs), i.e. temporary agencies and online labour platforms (OLPs), which are concurrent labour outsourcing options. These two types of LMIs have many characteristics in common, while they also differ in several aspects (e.g. involvement of human intermediary). The author wants to uncover whether client firms are aware of differences and similarities between two LMIs and how these characteristics influence their choice to rely on one or the other, or perhaps both simultaneously. While characteristics may affect the choice of LMI, outsourcing decision seems to be influenced by the ways firms set their boundaries to gain money, resources, sustained competitive advantage and retain stakeholders who identity with them. Hence, this study investigates how the notion of firm boundaries relates to labour outsourcing choices. Through in-depth interviews with client firms and LMIs, it was discovered that client firms possess basic awareness of characteristics of temporary agencies and OLPs. However, influenced by the constantly changing labour market, LMIs’ characteristics do not seem to be strategic drivers of labour outsourcing decisions. It was found that firm boundaries play a more dominant role. More specifically, while all four boundaries (i.e., efficiency, power, competence, identity) were discussed, in the unstable labour market, the boundary of power seems to be highly relevant. This explains the motivation of client firms to experiment with different LMIs or utilize them simultaneously. Finally, this study also offers new valuable insights in regards to perception of responsibility and control of client firms when utilizing different LMIs. To practitioners, this study provides an overview of LMIs’ characteristics from the client firm perspective. From this overview it appears that temp agencies are tapping into the freelancer market, while it inspires questions about the evolution and next steps for OLPs and their utilization.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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