The challenge of job quality

Patricia Findlay, Arne Kalleberg, Chris Warhurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Job quality is a timely issue because of its potential impact on individual, firm and national well-being. This renewed interest underscores the need for robust conceptualization of job quality. This article provides background to the renewed interest in job quality and, drawing on the contributions to the Special Issue, starts to map the dimensions of job quality, the factors that influence job quality, and the outcomes or impacts of job quality. We identify a number of emergent themes. First, job quality is a multidimensional phenomenon. Second, multiple factors and forces operating at multiple levels influence job quality. Third, the study of job quality is an inherently multi-disciplinary endeavour. Fourth, job quality is a contextual phenomenon, differing among persons, occupations and labour market segments, societies and historical periods. Our mapping of job quality, and the articles in the Special Issue, provide a foundation and springboard for understanding better the theoretically challenging and policy-relevant issue of job quality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number4
Early online date30 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • bad jobs
  • employment status
  • European working conditions survey
  • good jobs
  • graduate labour
  • job quality
  • post-Fordism
  • UK Skills Survey
  • Varieties of Capitalism


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