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Entrepreneurial Firm Use Patterns
The use patterns of contingent resources in entrepreneurial firms can be characterized as boundaryless. There is no intended strategy to seal off certain parts of the firm from contingent resources. While larger firms may attempt to protect core areas from contingent work, entrepreneurial firms cannot because they are motivated more by necessity, as discussed above. While these firms may express the desire to keep key positions in the hands of fulltime employees, they often express frustration that they cannot do so, given their time constraints. As a result, contingent resources can often be found in very sensitive, core areas of the firm.
In addition, these individuals are often indistinguishable
from fulltime employees. They are less likely to be
segregated physically from fulltime employees or segregated
to distinct tasks that do not require mutual interdependency between contingent and fulltime individuals. Assignments are less structured than those in nonentrepreneurial firms. These individuals are both formally and informally integrated into the organization.
...when I first got here, I couldnt tell who was
contract and who was regular. I only started to figure it
out when I was doing some accounting stuff...The mental
conception of independents and regular employees was really the
same. I didnt even know without going through all of
the records to figure it out.
Operations Manager at startup software firm (HI)
Theres no real difference (between contractors and
fulltime employees). They are all use the same
equipment, have the same accesstheres no real
distinction. Our Art Director is a good example...
Director of Human Resources at startup software firm (HE)
In addition, contingent work arrangements are often conceived
of as mutual sniff tests. Accordingly, entrepreneurial
firms are very cognizant of the contributions of contingent
individuals. They also may encourage informal integration
of these individuals and are more likely to extend offers of
fulltime employment to contingent individuals. The
contingent individuals, conversely, may be interested in
assessing whether the firm's project has sufficient market
potential to warrant accepting a traditional employment
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