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Non–entrepreneurial Firm Use Patterns

The level of formal and informal integration across contingent resources and individuals in traditional work arrangements is the most marked difference between use patterns in entrepreneurial and non–entrepreneurial firms.  Non–entrepreneurial firms have many barriers separating the two.  Contingent resource use from intended strategies commonly results in entire functions completed by contingent resources.  For example, the vast majority of testing or customer support (aside from the managerial functions) for a product may be conducted by contingent resources, possibly even off–site.  New lines of business under investigation may be manned largely by contingent resources who then report back on their project to individuals in the firm at an executive level.  Emerging use patterns from technical constraints, too, often are accompanied by much separation.  In these circumstances, the technical task is well defined and is usually characterized by very little, if any, reciprocal interdependence.

The exception to the formal segregation of contingent resources from traditional employees can be found in the case of contingent resource use motivated by administrative constraints.  In these settings, there is little formal separation because contingent resources are performing the same kinds of tasks in the same groups as traditional employees.

While the above discussion focuses on the degree of formal segregation across these two forms of work, the informal integration must also be considered.  In non–entrepreneurial firms, there are often very visible symbols that the contingent worker is not a regular employee.  From office space restrictions, to e–mail aliases, to clothing, there are visible symbols that denote someone is not a regular employee, regardless of why the particular individual was brought in or how highly skilled (s)he may be.  In addition, there is little informal socializing across the groups.

The contractors are not as integrated.  Some of them are great.  You just give them the specs and they go off and do it and come back with status reports.  You don’t have to be as involved.  That’s the way it should be...They’re not supposed to be on things like the social boards, because we pay for every hour that they’re here and we don’t want to pay for them playing on the boards, but they get on anyways.  ..Some feel like they’re entitled to things like the company store.
Director of Contingent Staffing, large software firm (LR)

At (this company), they used to give out these jackets with the company name on them...people wanted to be known as working for (this company)...but the contractors didn’t get them...So they get jaded..
HR Director, Mid sized software firm (WD)

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