Jobs on the Move

European Case Studies in Relocating eWork

Flecker J, Kirschenhofer S | Report 386 | Institute for Employment Studies | Jun 2002

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In 2001 the EMERGENCE team carried out 62 case studies in 18 European countries, of organisations which had relocated or outsourced work to remote sites using new technologies. Each case study consisted of a 'source' in one region and a 'destination' in another region or country.

Eight distinct types of relocation are identified. Many factors are involved in the choice of location, and successful relocation depends on technological, organisational and social factors. Relocation places considerable demands on personnel at both source and destination organisations and may require a complete overhaul of business processes.

Despite expectations about the 'death of distance', successful relocation may demand considerable mobility of personnel. In some cases, the process of relocation leads to further organisational changes, which may in turn make further relocation easier. Once a 'caterpillar' job has become a 'butterfly', it could fly anywhere.