People illustration People theory

Working arrangements

In the past large sections of the workforce worked on full-time permanent contracts. This was typical of most large British companies. Since the 1980's however, we have seen the development of a range of flexible arrangements. Typically modern workforces are split into three main groups:

1.Core workers. These are full-time employees. They are well paid but many work long hours. They are termed core workers because they are at the heart of the organisation doing many of the important jobs on which the continuity of the business depends.

2.Peripheral workers. These are part-time and other workers with flexible working arrangements who are on the payroll of a company. There are a substantial number of women on part-time contracts. In addition there are increasing numbers of men working part-time. They do not enjoy the same sort of job security as full-time employees.

3.External workers. External workers do not work directly for a company. Typically they are contract workers working for outside contractors and consultants. They may enjoy very good rates of remuneration but their contracts are only for a limited length of time or for a specific contract.

By increasing numbers of peripheral workers and external workers firms have been able to reduce their core wage bill. This cost cutting exercise enables them to be more competitive. There is a substantial advantage to be had from reducing the wage bill and to focus on the core workers of the business.


Core workers

However, on the downside, in some businesses this leads to increasing pressure on core workers. Motivation may also be threatened because peripheral and external workers will not have the same degree of loyalty as core workers. Additionally, with a shrinking core workforce, core workers themselves may feel that their jobs are under threat and therefore may not be as loyal or as motivated as with a larger core workforce.


Supporting Documents

These downloads will help to put people theory into context using real world examples from real businesses.

The marketing mix in the food industry
McCain Foods logo

Discover how McCain Foods applied people theory to thrive in the food & drink industry by downloading our premium case study.

Entering a new market with a new product
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Find out how Experian applied people theory to succeed in the financial services industry by downloading our premium case study.

Creating a winning marketing mix
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Learn how JD Sports employed people theory to prosper in the retail industry by downloading our premium case study.

Meeting customers' needs in growth markets - online gaming
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Discover how BT used people theory to prosper in the telecommunications industry by downloading our premium case study.

Innovation in infant nutrition
Cow & Gate logo

Learn how Cow & Gate applied people theory to thrive in the food & drink industry by downloading our premium case study.