This book offers a sociological account of the process by which companies instituted and continue to institute outsourcing in their organization. Drawing on qualitative data, it examines the ways in which internal outsourcing in the information technologies and human resources professions negatively affects workers, their work conditions, and working relationships. With attention to the deleterious influence of outsourcing on relationships and the strong tendency of market organisations to produce social conflict in interactions - itself a considerable `transaction cost' - the author challenges both the ideology that markets, rather than hierarchies, produce more efficient and less costly economic outcomes for companies, and the idea that outsourcing generates benefits for professional workers in the form of greater opportunity. A demonstration of the social conflict created between employees working for two separate, proprietary companies, Working Lives and in-House Outsourcing will be of interest to scholars with interests in the sociology of work and organizations and the sociology of professions, as well as those working in the fields of business management and human resources.
Jacqueline M. Zalewski is Associate Professor of Sociology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, USA.