Informal Networks and Risk Coping Strategies in Temporary Organizations: The Case of Media Production in Germany

  • Birgit Apitzsch University of Duisburg-Essen
Keywords: biography, uncertainty, flexibility, networks, project work


The erosion of internal labor markets, together with the rise of flexible forms of work such as projects, increases uncertainty regarding the coordination of work and labor market transactions, and it makes employment, income and career perspectives less predictable. This paper addresses the questions of what, if any, kinds of institutional and social-structural conditions are able to provide stability in the absence of the open-ended employment relationship, and which individual certainty strategies are used. On the basis of qualitative, semi-structured interviews with experts and project workers in the German television and film industry, it is argued that the institutional and social-structural context matters crucially for individual strategies to reduce uncertainty. More specifically, this paper aims at contributing to a better understanding of the interrelationship between networks and biographies, and of the interaction between networking and other forms of coping with risks and uncertainty. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs100145


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Author Biography

Birgit Apitzsch, University of Duisburg-Essen
Birgit APITZSCH, Dipl.-Soz., is working as a research associate at the Institute of Sociology, University of Duisburg-Essen. After conducting research as a doctoral and post-doctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne from 2005 to 2009, she received her doctorate in sociology at the University of Duisburg-Essen in 2009. Research interests are: sociology of work and labor markets, life course research, industrial relations, economic sociology and political economy.
How to Cite
Apitzsch, B. (2010). Informal Networks and Risk Coping Strategies in Temporary Organizations: The Case of Media Production in Germany. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(1).