Stephen Sweet (Sociology) Publishes Article on Declining Availability of Flexible Work Arrangements


Contributed by Sharon Loucks

Stephen Sweet’s (Associate Professor of Sociology) article “Do Options for Job Flexibility Diminish in Times of Economic Uncertainty?”  has been accepted for publication in the journal Work, Employment and Society.

This study explores the possibility that the 2008 economic recession affected the availability of flexible work arrangements by comparing two surveys of organizations in the United States, one conducted prior to the recession and the other after its onset. Adaptation and institutional perspectives are contrasted, revealing different expectations for the effects of economic tumult on the availability of flexible work arrangements.  Greater support is found for the adaptation perspective, as organizations offered fewer flexible work options 2009 than in 2006.  They also engaged in less promotion of alternate work arrangements.  Analysis indicates that prior trends toward increasing availability of flexible work arrangements have shifted downward.  Coauthors are Elyssa Besen (Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety), Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes (Boston College) and Tay McNamara (Boston College).