Employment Relations in Outsourced Public Services

Working Between Market and State

  • Anna Mori

About this book


“Both scholars and practitioners will find this book the key to understanding the ‘black box’ of outsourcing. Providing rigorous and exhaustive comparative analysis, this book sheds light  on the institutional and organisational mechanisms mediating the impact of outsourcing in the public sector. A must-read for those interested in comparative employment relations!”

—Oscar Molina, Professor, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

“In her book, Anna Mori presents an original and thoughtful comparative analysis of the politics of outsourcing. Mori’s innovative study, involving case studies from Italy, Denmark and the UK, demonstrates that labour unions can play a central role in defending the conditions of public sector workers, even as they face steep challenges from new public management and austerity.” 

—Virginia L. Doellgast, Associate Professor, Cornell University, USA 

Examining the consequences of the outsourcing of public services, this book explores the transformation of working conditions, employment relations and the role of the state under marketisation strain. It places these developments in a wider framework that incorporates the legacy of the national models of public administration and employment relations regimes in the public sector. Adopting a comparative perspective by focusing on Italy, Denmark and Britain, the author investigates and questions the influential interpretation of a spreading neo-liberal trajectory in public service working conditions and employment relations, and reveals significant diversity across countries mediated by national institutional configurations. Discussing the interplay between the austerity agenda in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the swelling of outsourcing practices in public services, this book responds to the scholarly call for an integrated approach towards institutions and actors. A valuable read for researchers examining human resource management, labour studies and public administration, this book provides a comprehensive overview of employment relations in outsourced public services.


Comparative employment relations Public sector Working conditions Trade unions Austerity Labour

Authors and affiliations

  • Anna Mori
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social and Political SciencesUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

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