Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik

An independent international centre for advanced studies

Behavioural studies, Society and Religion Behavioural studies, Society and Religion


Time in Transition: Working Time Arrangements in a Modern Era
13 May 2024 - 18 May 2024
Course directors :
Wenzel Matiaske , Helmut-Schmidt University, Germany
Simon Jebsen , University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Course description:

Call for Papers.

Potential contributors to the seminar are encouraged to submit an abstract of five pages before 28 February 2024 electronically via management revue’s online submission system using ‘IUC Dubrovnik’ as the article section.


There is evidence of a shift towards a new "temporality" based on an employer-led model of working time, which differs from traditional working-time regulation (Rubery et al., 2005). Recent events have accelerated an already growing trend toward non-traditional working time arrangements. The global pandemic and the resultant surge in remote working have dismantled traditional work structures, pushing us to rethink how we perceive work and the time spent on it.

Recent studies highlight the urgent need for such a dialogue. For instance, Kelliher and De Menezes' (2021) study revealed the complex interplay between flexible working arrangements and employee well-being, emphasising the need to balance autonomy and work intensification, particularly for women (Chandola et al., 2019). Similarly, Kim et al's (2020) research on non-standard work schedules shed light on the potential of such arrangements to exacerbate social inequality and job insecurity.

The provision of flexible working-time policies by firms and the influence of unions on working-time arrangements are also subjects of debate. Jacobi's (2022) research shows that between 2002 and 2016 in Germany, firms increasingly adopted flexibility policies in working-time arrangements, while union coverage declined. Despite this, the study found that union bargaining power remained relatively stable, with increased competition for employees positively influencing working conditions. Another challenge arising from increased flexibility is that employees work at different times and locations while performing the same activities and having the same responsibilities (Groen et al., 2018).

The European Working Time Directive plays a crucial role in setting standards for working time, but its interpretation and implementation can vary across member states. On the one hand, recent rulings by the European Court of Justice have appeared to restrict flexible working time arrangements (Glowacka, 2020). On the other hand, the Austrian legislator amended the Working Time Act to enhance flexibility and autonomy, which can still be considered compatible with Union law (Glowacka, 2020). This highlights the ongoing tension between enabling flexible working time arrangements and ensuring compliance with legal regulations. Balancing the need for flexibility with protecting workers' rights and well-being remains a challenge in the digital age (Fabrellas, 2022).

Building on these explorations, the seminar and related special issue aim to delve deeper into the contemporary debates and future directions of working time arrangements, focusing on the following themes:

• The impact of flexible and remote working arrangements on employee productivity, satisfaction, and mental health. revue Socio-Economic Studies management.
• The implications of non-standard work schedules (e.g., gig work, zero-hour contracts) on job quality, income stability, and social inequality.
• How contemporary working time arrangements affect work-life balance and family dynamics.
• The role of technology in shaping and managing working time arrangements, including issues of digital overwork and the right to disconnect.
• Organisational strategies for managing and supporting various working time arrangements, including their impact on diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity.
• Policy responses and labour law developments of evolving working time arrangements at the national and international levels.
• The legal limits of flexible working time arrangements in the light of recent restrictions by the European Court of Justice and their consequences for implementation in national law.
• The flexibility potential of the European Working Time Directive.

This is not an exhaustive list.



  • Chandola, T., Booker, C. L., Kumari, M., & Benzeval, M. (2019). Are Flexible Work Arrangements Associated with Lower Levels of Chronic Stress-Related Biomarkers? A Study of 6025 Employees in the UK Household Longitudinal Study. Sociology, 53(4), 779–799.
  • Fabrellas, A. G. i. (2022). ¿Cómo garantizar el bienestar de los empleados en la era digital? IDP. Revista de Internet, Derecho y Política, 35, 1–15.
  • Glowacka, M. (2021). A little less autonomy? The future of working time flexibility and its limits. European Labour Law Journal, 12(2), 113–133.
  • Groen, B. A. C., van Triest, S. P., Coers, M., & Wtenweerde, N. (2018). Managing flexible work arrangements: Teleworking and outputcontrols. European Management Journal, 36(6), 727–735.
  • Jacobi, A. (2023). Markets or unions? De‐unionisation and German firms’ provision of flexible working‐time policies from 2002 to 2016. Social Policy & Administration, 57(3), 399–415.
  • Kelliher, C., & de Menezes, L. M. (2021). Flexible Working in Organisations: A Research Overview. Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Kim, J., Henly, J. R., Golden, L. M., & Lambert, S. J. (2020). Workplace flexibility and worker well‐being by gender. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 82(3), 892–910.
  • Rubery, J., Grimshaw, D., & Figueiredo, H. (2005). How to close the gender pay gap in Europe: Towards the gender mainstreaming of pay policy. Industrial Relations Journal, 36(3), 184–213. 
Course lecturers:
Hyeri Choi , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States
Lonnie Golden , Penn State University, United States
Melanie Hense , University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, Austria, Austria
Simon Jebsen , University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Jaeseung Kim , Sungkyunkwan University, Korea, Republic of (South Korea)
Wenzel Matiaske , Helmut-Schmidt University, Germany
Ulrich Mückenberger , University of Bremen, Germany
Mandy Müller , Helmut-Schmidt University, Germany
Joseph Peck , Urban Institute, United States
Florian Schramm , University of Hamburg, Germany
Hartmut Seifert , WSI Düsseldorf, Germany
Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay , Université TÉLUQ, Canada
Attached documents