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‘Involuntary self-employment’ as a public policy issue: A cross-country European review
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Innovation Systems, Entrepreneurship and Growth . Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, ESOL (Entrepreneurship, Strategy, Organization, Leadership).
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2010 (English)In: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, ISSN 1355-2554, E-ISSN 1758-6534, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 112-129Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – There is growing political interest in new forms of precarious self-employment located in a “grey area” between employment and self-employment. A wide range of concepts has been used to debate this issue, and this paper aims to clarify these debates through the concept of involuntary self-employment.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviews the empirical, conceptual and legal-policy approaches to involuntary self-employment via three country case studies in Finland, Germany and the UK. A range of relevant domestic academic literature, articles in the media, selected key expert interviews, and policy and legal documents are employed.

Findings – Conceptual clarity regarding involuntary self-employment is achieved through a discussion of two aspects of the phenomenon: the characteristics of involuntariness from a motives-based perspective, and the legal/economic perspectives and policy issues. The motives-based analysis argues that involuntariness as such does not seem to have severe implications on the individuals' well being, given that the individual earns a satisfactory livelihood from her or his business activities. The discussion of the characteristics of and regulation related to working arrangements in the “grey area” between employment and self-employment, where the self-employed individual is strongly dependent on the principal, shows that it is very difficult to regulate quasi self-employment without harming “voluntary” forms of enterprise and inter-firm cooperation at the same time.

Originality/value – The key contribution of the paper is to facilitate a foundation for subsequent empirical research and policy development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 16, no 2, p. 112-129
Keywords [en]
entrepreneurship policies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-11726DOI: 10.1108/13552551011027002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-11726DiVA, id: diva2:303053
Available from: 2010-03-10 Created: 2010-03-10 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Welter, Friederike

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