Cross-Border Temporary Staffing

Cross-Border Temporary Staffing. Market-Making and Transnational Regulation in Inter-Regional Comparison

Project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) 2013-2015


The  research examines the creation of cross-border labor markets for temporary agency work. The focus is on the role of private labor market intermediaries and the emerging governance of cross-border temporary placements in two world regions – the European Union and East Asia. Theoretically the research draws together theories of transnational organizations and the economic sociology of market-making. Both perspectives foreground the role of actors and focus on the negotiated order of institution-building to regulate labor markets. The leading research questions concern how and why markets for temporary labor are taking on transnational dimensions, and whether these markets can and will be governed by transnational institutions.  In order to generalize beyond the EU as the typical unit of reference for many transnationalization studies, the research design is inter-regionally comparative, building on the language-based regional competence of the research team in East Asian studies. Private firm organizations (transnational temporary staffing firms) and interest communities (employer and labor representatives) form the units of analysis, while the interplay of national and (supranational) regional activities constitute the levels of analysis in the proposed research design.

The state of research on the transnationalization of temporary staffing indicates that in both Europe and East Asia the integration of transformation countries into regional economies has intensified the extension of agency placements across national borders: in East Asia, to and from China, and in Europe, from Hungary, the Czech Republic and especially Poland.




Prof. Karen A. Shire (PhD) (Principal Investigator)

Dr. Steffen Heinrich


Dr. Hannelore Mottweiler


Markus Tünte, Dipl. Soz.-Wiss.


Dr. Chih-Chieh Wang



Prof. Karen A. Shire, PhD.

University of Duisburg-Essen

Institute of Sociology and Institute of East Asian Studies

Forsthausweg 2

D-47057 Duisburg

Phone: +49 203 3794048+49 203 3794048

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