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Making it work in free agent work: The coping practices of Swedish freelance journalists

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Maria Norbäck
Alexander Styhre
Publicerad i Scandinavian Journal of Management
Volym 35
Nummer/häfte 4
ISSN 0956-5221
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Management & Organisation
Språk en
Länkar https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scaman.20...
Ämnesord Freelance work, Risk shifting, External labour markets, "Employment management work”, JournalismSweden.
Ämneskategorier Företagsekonomi

Sammanfattning

Studies of post-industrial work have shown how workers are increasingly shouldering the risk of and the responsibility for social protection, work shortages, professional training, and securing a stream of continuous incoming work. This study of Swedish freelance journalists examines how these free agents cope with a situation whereby the need exists to actively bear the full responsibility for attracting and contracting, producing, and billing their work as journalists. The empirical material shows how freelancers engage in various coping practices to secure both sufficient amounts of work and the accompanying economic compensation. Freelancers who “make it work” are often those managing to embed themselves in long-standing relationships with clients and colleagues, thus ensuring a long-term work horizon and a steady income. Even so, the inherent “responsibilization” of contemporary work is amplified and intensified by the freelance work mode. This study makes two contributions: Firstly, it provides knowledge of free agent work in a Swedish context, a national setting that is often presumed to be a “role model” for good working conditions. Secondly, it highlights the specifics of managing work that entails a continuous stream of sequential and parallel assignments of limited duration and the ongoing “employment management work” this entails as regards making sure assignments keep “coming in”.

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