Organization of Human Resources in a Project-based Economy: organizational institutions and the role of flexible human resource pools

Jonas Söderlund

This paper centers on the organization of human resources in a project-based economy. The paper initially makes a distinction of organizational institutions in terms of (1) systems integrators, (2) fixed (permanent) human resource pools, and (3) flexible (temporary) human resource pools. Based on this distinction, the paper highlights a number of possible combinations at the firm-level and thereby calls attention to the importance of analyzing different modes of organization of human resources. Besides offering a framework for the analysis of project-based firms depending on their use of various sorts of human resources, the paper adds to the understanding of different employment modes and human resources in the project-based economy. The paper emphasizes the specific nature of project-based production and the difference between human resources compared to other resources.