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Tommy Isidorsson

Senior lecturer

Tommy Isidorsson
Senior lecturer
Working time, work organisation, labour market, agency work, agency labour
+46 31 786 5501

Room number: F335
Postal Address: Box 720, 40530 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Skanstorget 18 , 41122 Göteborg

Department of Sociology and Work Science (More Information)
Box 720
405 30 Göteborg
Fax: +46 31 786 4764
Visiting Address: Skanstorget 18 , 411 22 Göteborg

About Tommy Isidorsson

Associate professor, 2012, Work Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Ph.D. 2001, History, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Download the thesis
(Striden om tiden Arbetstiden utveckling i Sverige under 100 år i ett internationellt perspektiv)

B.A. 1986, History, Geography and Social science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

I have written several reports on working time issues and flexibility over the last couple of years. In 2001 he finished his thesis Time Wars. Working Time Development in Sweden in a Centennial and International Perspective. The thesis analyses actors as well as structures and explains the development of working time. The thesis is published in Swedish with an English summary.
I have conducted several studies on flexibility and stability. My main interest has been how firms and organisations’ adapt to changes in demand, i.e. the different strategies utilised for handling changes in production volume. Such strategies for flexibility are working time flexibility, functional flexibility, and numerical flexibility. The interest in numerical flexibility includes several studies on agency workers. The analyses have focused on mechanisms that influence the development of these strategies for flexibility and their consequences on a societal level, at work place level and individual level. I have also conducted studies in occupational health and safety management.

Current research
Agency work and commitment. The use of agency workers and its effects on commitment on permanent staff and agency workers.
Legalised in 1993 the use of agency worker is a relatively new phenomenon is Sweden. Temporary agency work has increased rapidly in most OECD countries, including Sweden, during the last two decades. In the Netherlands and in the UK, where temporary work agencies have existed for several decades, a considerable increase in the number of agency workers took place in the 1990s and stabilised in the 2000s. The proportion of agency workers counts for around one or two per cent of all workers in most EU-countries. The impact of agency work on the labour market should however not be underestimated. Even if the proportion of agency workers is low, the proportion of workplaces using agency workers is considerable and agency workers affect the work organisation also for permanent staff.
The aim of this project is to analyse and explain how the use of agency work affects commitment on permanent staff in user firms and commitment among agency workers themselves.
Employers' use of temporary agency workers. Extent, motives and explanations in a comparative perspective
The use of temporary agency workers is subject of a rather extensive debate. Previous research on the usage of agency workers and employers’ motive for using them dates back to the years when the agency industry was quite new in Sweden. Today temporary agency work is an institutionalized staffing strategy although also discussed from different political viewpoints. Therefore, there is a need for research that maps out the real use and explains how the use of temporary agency workers affects the labour market.
The project aims at analysing the use of temporary agency workers in Sweden and the UK in 2002 and 2012. Thus the project compares two countries with different institutional settings.

I am teaching on subjects concerning work organisation, labour market and Industrial Relations (IR).

In my current and previous project I meet the social partners in work shops that our research group arrange on a regularly basis.

Latest publications

Job quality for temporary agency workers and client organization employees at a Swedish manufacturing plant
Kristina Håkansson, Tommy Isidorsson
Tommy Isidorsson och Julia Kubisa (red.) Job Quality in an Era of Flexibility - Experiences in a European Context, Oxon & New York , Routledge , Chapter in book 2019
Chapter in book

Job quality in an era of flexibility: conclusions and new emerging issues on job quality for research and policy makers
Tommy Isidorsson, Julia Kubisa
Tommy Isidorsson & Julia Kubisa (red.) Job Quality in an Era of Flexibility - Experiences in a European Context, Oxon & New York, Routledge , Chapter in book 2019
Chapter in book

Voice and its implications for employment quality in temporary agency work in Sweden and Belgium
Kristina Håkansson, Valeria Pulignano, Tommy Isidorsson, Nadja Doerflinger
Tommy Isidorsson & Julia Kubisa (red.) Job Quality in an Era of Flexibility: Experiences in a European Context, Abingdon, Oxon, Routledge, Chapter in book 2019
Chapter in book

Flexibilitet och nya bemanningsstrategier
Kristina Håkansson, Tommy Isidorsson
Bengtsson M. & Berglund T. (red) Arbetslivet, Lund, Studentlitteratur, Chapter in book 2017
Chapter in book

Explaining job insecurity for temporary agency workers: A comparison between Sweden and Belgium
Kristina Håkansson, Valeria Pulignano, Tommy Isidorsson, Nadja Doerflinger
Economic and Industrial Democracy, Journal article 2017
Journal article

Arbeitnehmerüberlassung in Schweden
Kristina Håkansson, Tommy Isidorsson
Fragmentierte Belegschaften: Leiharbeit, Informalität und Soloselbständigkeit in globaler Perspektive, Campus Verlag, Chapter in book 2016
Chapter in book

Showing 21 - 30 of 41




Synthesis report on pre-testing employer and employee surveys
Anthony Arundel, Adriana Van Cruysen, Nathalie Greenan, Edward Lorenz, Annika Härenstam et al.
Meadow Guidelines, Grigny, France, Domigraphic, Chapter in book 2010
Chapter in book


Tillfällig arbetskraft och arbetsvillkor
Kristina Håkansson, Tommy Isidorsson
Arbetslivet Tomas Berglund & Stefan Schedin (red), Chapter in book 2009
Chapter in book


A new segment on the labour market. Agency workers, work organisation and health & Safety
Kristina Håkansson, Tommy Isidorsson
The 26th International Labour Process Conference, 18-20 Mars 2008, Dublin, Conference contribution 2008
Conference contribution


Flexibility, Stability and Agency Work: A Comparison of the Use of Agency Work in Sweden and the UK
Kristina Håkansson, Tommy Isidorsson
Flexibility and Stability in Working Life, Palgrave mcmillan, Chapter in book 2007
Chapter in book


Showing 21 - 30 of 41

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