Abstract. The idea that investing in employability is the answer to creative destruction caused insecurity originated in the context of Silicon Valley. Paradoxically, this ‘employacurity’ discourse has taken root in the Netherlands, a country in which the employment system is firmly based on the norm of job security, the total opposite of Silicon Valley’s employment system. Although management gurus have built an attractive discourse on employability, an associated collective action problem detracts from its realism. The Dutch case exhibits mechanisms that may alleviate such a collective action problem. These mechanisms are explored via an examination of policy documents, a quantitative analysis of collective labor agreements and two cases, one of a large bank and one of an industrial company. A craving among Dutch employers for flexibility, fueled by the norm of security that impacts their perception of potential benefits of investments in employability is crucial to our understanding of employacurity in the Netherlands.

collective bargaining, employability, employacurity, employers, flexibility, flexicurity, human resources, industrial relations, management gurus, social policy
Personnel Management (jel M12), Training (jel M53)
Socio-Economic Review
Accepted manuscript
Department of Sociology

Pruijt, H.D, & Dérogée, P. (2010). Employability and job security, friends or foes? The paradoxical reception of employacurity in the Netherlands. Socio-Economic Review, 1–28. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/18159