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The relationship between time of founding and the composition of the workforce in Australian workplaces

journal contribution
posted on 2002-08-01, 00:00 authored by Kenneth Reed, Betsy Blunsdon
This paper presents the results of an analysis of the relationship between organisational age and two specific aspects of labour flexibility-numerical
flexibility and workforce skill composition (as one facet of functional flexibility)that extends earlier work in two ways. First, it uses data from a large-scale national survey (the Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey [AWIRS)1995). Second. it focuses on two widely studied facets of labour flexibility, numerical flexibility and functional flexibility. Previous research has investigated the relationship between organisational age and aspects of organisation such as strategy and structure (Baum and Oliver, 1991; Henderson, 1999; Reed and Blunsdon, 1998). Henderson (1999) found that age effects were contingent on different organisational strategies and process. Reed and Blunsdon (1998) found that organisational maturity is associated with goal directed, or strategic flexibility characterised by low levels of formal rules and regulations but clarity a/purpose. But a more complex relationship was also identified - for example; very young organisations (founded in the 1990,) appear to have higher levels of formalisation at founding than organisations established in earlier periods. This paper investigates these questions further. The results show that the relationship between age; numerical flexibility and workforce skill composition is non-linear, but the data do not make it possible to separate age effects associated with aging, time of founding and changing environmental conditions.

History

Journal

Labour & industry

Volume

13

Issue

1

Pagination

73 - 89

Publisher

RMIT, Centre for Workplace Culture Change

Location

Melbourne, Vic.

ISSN

1030-1763

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2002, RMIT, Centre for Workplace Culture Change

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