Internal Versus External Labour Markets

Institutional Management in Higher Education

Using the now classic distinction drawn by P.B. Doeringer and M.J. Piore between internal and external labour markets, this article endeavours to characterise university labour markets and recent developments affecting them in three countries, namely France, Germany and the United States. It is based on a qualitative empirical survey covering all three countries and a total of 21 universities. We can thus identify and compare various ways of fostering commitment, loyalty and motivation among academic staff in each case. We show that the selection tools specific to external markets vary from one country to another (“recruitment pools” versus “up or out”) and use different modes of regulation. We also show that the equilibrium between internal and external markets in each country is, like the instruments used, closely linked to the conceptions prevailing within the academic profession. Consequently, the recognition system cannot be changed merely by changing the rules, since standards and relations within the profession will also be affected...

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