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Reflecting the changing world of work? A critique of existing survey measures and a proposal for capturing new ways of working

Lott, Yvonne, Kelleher, Clare, Chung, Heejung (2022) Reflecting the changing world of work? A critique of existing survey measures and a proposal for capturing new ways of working. Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 28 (4). pp. 457-473. ISSN 1024-2589. (doi:10.1177/10242589221130597) (KAR id:98232)

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In recent decades we have seen significant and varied changes in the world of work. Most prominent among these is the diminishing prevalence of the standard employment relationship. These changes challenge traditional notions of what constitute ‘employment’, ‘employers’, ‘employees’, the ‘workplace’ and the ‘working day’. Many current survey instruments are still based on the concept of the standard employment relationship, however. This article illustrates some limitations of existing conceptualisations and definitions of flexible work arrangements and of the instruments used to measure them in major surveys. It also suggests ways of tackling these limitations. The aim of highlighting potential limitations of existing survey instruments is to enable data users to be more reflective about what the results actually do and do not report, and to encourage survey designers to modify existing instruments and develop new instruments to better capture contemporary realities, including multiple jobholding and internet and platform work.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/10242589221130597
Uncontrolled keywords: flexible working, methods, measurement, cross-national study
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Heejung Chung
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2022 11:26 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2023 15:04 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Chung, Heejung:
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