Call for Papers International Comparisons of Working Time

Call for Papers

Special Issue and Conference on International Comparisons of Working Time

The Industrial and Labor Relations Review is calling for papers for a conference and subsequent special issue devoted to international comparisons of working time. Scholars interested in participating should submit a paper to the Journal by January 3, 2012.

Authors whose papers are accepted will be invited to a conference to be held at the University of Montreal in April 2012, organized by Peter Berg, Michigan State University; Gerhard Bosch, University of Duisburg/Essen; and Jean Charest, University of Montreal. Conference expenses will be partially subsidized. Papers presented at this conference should be suitable for immediate submission to external reviewers. Based on discussions at the conference, reviewers’ recommendations, and fit with the issue, a subset of authors will be asked to undertake revisions with the expectation that their papers will be published in the special issue. Papers that reviewers deem of good quality but are not selected for the special issue will be considered for publication in a regular issue of the Journal.

The issue of working time is becoming more and more important as we continue to move away from a twentieth-century view of working time as a standard work week in which employees work in one location. Increasingly, working time has become more diverse and much more fluid. Weekly working hours vary across countries, industries, occupations, gender, and employment status. In some countries, working hours have declined whereas in others they have increased. Technology has continued to expand the concept of the working day and has allowed employees to work from multiple locations. Moreover, large demographic trends such as the aging population, the growing number of women in the labor market, and dual-earner couples have also affected the construction of working time across developed economies. Some countries have responded to these trends with creative working time arrangements that provide workers the right to request a flexible work schedule, opportunities to retire gradually, or working time accounts that allow for variable work weeks and banking paid time off. In the United States, however, neither firms nor labor unions have been as creative in implementing working time configurations that can meet the strategic needs of companies as well as the work-life balance needs of workers.

Working time arrangements consist of when, where, and how much one works. Examples include various forms of flexible schedules, compressed work weeks, telework, job sharing, banking work time, phased retirement, or paid leaves. Because many of these working time arrangements vary across countries, international comparative research can be particularly helpful in expanding our understanding of factors that influence the many ways working time is configured within countries and across industries and occupations. Moreover, international research can also help us understand the impact of different working time configurations on worker and firm outcomes. The Industrial and Labor Relations Review welcomes empirical papers based on a range of methodologies including survey research, fieldwork in the form of qualitative or quantitative case studies, and the use of archival data. We prefer comparative papers in the following topic areas, but papers focused on one country are also welcome.

Older workers: explore the extent to which policy incentives and flexible work schedules influence the decisions of older workers to extend their work lives past normal retirement age.
Work-family Issues: analyze the impact of working time arrangements on work-family integration, conflict, or balance. Discuss the effectiveness of different work practices or policy incentives to increase working time flexibility or help families with child care or elder care demands.
The health and well-being of workers: examine the effects of work hours on employee health or compare different working time arrangements on worker well-being over the life-cycle.
Employment Issues: address the extent to which flexible working time and/or the reduction of working hours has successfully generated job growth or improved working conditions.
Firm performance: contrast the extent to which flexible working time arrangements are a strategic resource to improve firm performance.
International Comparisons: compare working time patterns and regulations on multiple dimensions across countries and explain national differences.

To submit your paper for consideration, please visit: <> and follow our on-screen instructions.

Nicolas Roby
Scientific Coordinator
Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT)

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