Out of the Shadows
Routledge – 2007 – 296 pages
Over half of all people working on behalf of any given organization are typically not their own employees. Some are freelance contractors working in their own right. A significant proportion is employed to provide these services by another firm, under agency or outsourcing service agreements. The services they perform under these agreements are often vital in supporting the organization’s customer relationships, reputation and brand identity.
Yet, remarkably, little attention has been paid to how these ‘non-employees’ are managed, motivated and meaningfully engaged. Management protocol generally sees them as outside the organization’s remit or control. The law paints them as victims.
This ground-breaking book challenges both these assumptions. Through a combination of pioneering legal analysis and rigorous case-study research, it demonstrates that non-employees are often the organization’s most important hidden resource.
Patricia Leighton and her collaborators highlight the limited good practice that is available, based on examples in large corporations, public sector organizations and smaller firms in a variety of countries. More importantly she clearly sets out the issues and imperatives employers should address, supported by new management concepts and models of effective practice developed specifically for the book.
Far from being victims, she argues, non-employees often choose flexible working patterns for their own intrinsic ends and have ambitions, career aspirations and workplace needs that can be responded to and exploited by forward-looking employers.
“Looking at the role they now play, these people are no longer marginal, atypical or peripheral as they are still termed and regarded by both legal and management practitioners. They are, however, still in the shadows in terms of the literature available on how best to develop and motivate them. This book aims to rectify this.”
“Patricia Leighton has put her finger on an important fact. Non-employees have skills to offer that are intimately bound up with the way they work. We ought to value them more – and this book goes a long way towards showing how this should be done.” John Raywood, HR Manager, GlaxoSmithKline
“Patricia Leighton argues very effectively that good management is about fitting individuals into organizations and understanding the balance between people performance and management.” Nic Stevens, Chief Executive, RSA
Introducing the topic; Context and evidence: the rise of the non-employee; Matching strategic and employment needs; Recruiting and preparing for non-employees; People management and non-employees; Regulating the use of non-employees; Contracts and the use of non-employees; Employment relations and related issues; Health and safety; Reflections and futures.