updated: 23 October 2008



‘Outsourcing’, ‘insourcing’, ‘offshoring’, ‘inshoring’, ‘upskilling’, ‘deskilling’, ... One of the barriers to making sense of current workplace trends is simply coming to terms with the terminology.

As part of its mission to develop a clear conceptual and analytical framework for understanding the restructuring of work in a global knowledge economy, one of the first tasks that the WORKS project set itself was to develop a glossary of key terms and concepts. This task was carried out collaboratively, with inputs from all the WORKS partners, and formed a vital underpinning of the first project publication ‘The transformation of work in a global knowledge economy: towards a conceptual framework’ now available as a book or free pdf download.


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24-hour society
There are many expressions used to describe the concept of a 24-hour society, including: 'flexible society,' 'post-fordist society', 'post-modern society', 'information society', etc.
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Absenteeism refers to an employee's unscheduled, unplanned and sometimes un-allowed absence from work. Absenteeism has several forms.
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We can distinguish between several major forms of accidents: personnel accidents, industrial accidents and environmental accidents.
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Affective labour
See Emotional work
Atypical work
Atypical, or non-standard work is work carried out under employment relationships not conforming to the traditional employment model which characterised previous phases of economic development.
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Autonomy at work
In the work context, the term 'autonomy' refers to the extent to which the job allows the job holder to exercise choice and discretion in his or her work as well as when individuals feels that they have some influence and control over their jobs.