Labour market information and the employment complex: institutional mechanisms for the management of risk and trust
journal contributionposted on 06.06.2017 by Reed, Ken
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This paper formulates a conceptual model that makes it possible to describe how systems of work adapt to changes in the environment and maintain interna) cohesion in the face of potentially conflictual interests and goals within a work community. Two institutional structures are described: 'labour market information' which performs the function of reducing uncertainty originating in the economy and thus enables risk to be calculated; and the 'employment complex* which reduces normative uncertainty, enabling actors to invest commitment into the system and thereby operate on the basis of trust. The capacity to define risk and to reproduce trust are claimed here to improve the system's survival capability through the conservation of resources. Four institutionalised forms of information are identified: prices of wages and salaries; labour market projections; corporate prestige; and demographics. The bases of systemic trust are proposed as: the employment contract; career paths; industrial citizenship; and credential ling systems. The paper concludes with a discussion of the mechanisms that manage the linkages between the labour market and the employment complex.