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Outsourcing and resistance to it in Brazil: One can clearly identify a process of increasing flexibility in labour relations occurring in Brazil, especially as from the s onwards. A myriad of atypical hiring modalities have emerged, with the outsourcing of productive activities of particular interest to this present article. In the past, this was largely restricted to relatively few alternatives: Shortly afterwards, ina new Bill of Law was proposed, namely Bill No.

With these changes in mind, this article means to discuss, albeit on a preliminary basis, the institution of outsourcing in Brazil, focusing on its historical dimension, and especially on its status from a legal standpoint.

The idea is to put the current situation into context. The debate has been raging over the potential impact of Bill No. The bibliographic review that was carried out for this article produced oei definition of a secondary objective.

Outsourcing and resistance to it in Brazil: Bill No. 4,/04 and the actions of collective actors

This involved identifying and critically analysing the participation of collective actors, including those entities that represent both employers and workers, as well as professional law associations, in the debate over the potential social and labour implications lek might result from the passing of Bill No.

The activities of these different actors were assumed as being representative of the forces that express trends and countertrends and, therefore, diverging interests in relation to the subject of outsourcing. In the context of Brazil, the effects of increased production flexibility can be viewed as a process that has tended to lead to an institutionalisation of 1893 flexibilization and a precariousness of work DRUCK, This flexibilization can clearly be seen in the emergence of a series of atypical modalities of labour, within a scenario that reflects a tendency to weaken the formal ties between employers and workers.

This is embodied in new forms of hiring that include part-time work, temporary work, trainee contracts, worker cooperatives, entrepreneurism” illegal work “, subcontracting and internal outsourcing. These two last examples are considered, for the purposes of this article, as representative of outsourcing in its broadest sense. The lack of available articles focusing on the socioeconomic dimension of outsourcing, whether in studies aimed at leo labour relations, or those focused on organizational studies helped inspire the present study.

Its purpose was primarily to map, albeit only provisionally, outsourcing in Brazil by focusing on its historical dimension and especially its status from a legal standpoint. The article seeks to contextualise the present time, one in which we are faced with an intense debate on the potential impact of Bill No. One should stress that the different points of view in relation to the subject, which represent the varying interests of business leaders and those of workers, have permeated a reality that has been little portrayed over the last ten years or more.

The special viewpoint of this article manages lwi look beyond the barriers imposed by organisations, and is thus able to see, above all, the political dimension that lies beyond the day-to-day of organisations. To achieve the primary goal of this study, an analysis was made of the participation of other collective actors, as well as that of entities representing both employers and workers.

To this end, this survey had two aims: To achieve this proposed objective, a multidisciplinary view was adopted, and to this were added certain contributions from the field of Administration, as well as from the fields of Sociology, Economics and, above all, from Law.

The goal was to ensure a more holistic understanding of the process underway, aimed at the generalization of the instituting of outsourcing to each and 1702 productive activity provided for in Bill No. At the time of writing this article, Bill No.

This study has considered the original text of the bill, as presented by its author, federal deputy Sandro Mabel. This present article considers that the d of outsourcing is the transitory result of a dynamic process of conflict between individual and collective actors, which reflects the coexistence of trends and counter-trends.

The article has adopted Critical Realism as the ontology for guiding the proposed analysis. The article is subdivided into eight sections, including this Introduction. We follow the Introduction with a brief description of the main characteristics of the critical realist ontology and then place the subject of outsourcing within the context of administration studies in Brazil.

We then follow this with evidence of the precarious work conditions experienced by outsourced workers. The fifth section presents a brief history of the institution of outsourcing in Brazil and in the sixth section, we offer some brief methodological considerations.

The seventh section deals with some of the arguments put forward by the entities representing both employer and worker trade unions in relation to Bill No. These primarily focus on two points of contention: Finally, and by way of conclusion, we reiterate the idea of outsourcing as being the partial result of a dynamic process, which is constructed 77102 within an environment in which distinct views and interests coexist.

Suggestions are also made as to possible topics for future research. In order to justify the decision to use Critical Realism in this article, which is a current of philosophy of the science whose modern-day origins are associated with philosopher Roy Bhaskar, we offer some brief considerations below regarding this line of thinking, given that its inclusion in Brazilian organisational studies is as yet somewhat incipient. We begin by contextualizing the emergence of Critical Realism, which lies at the heart of a broader movement to overcome the dichotomy between the subjective and the objective dimensions of analysis in the social sciences.

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The latter can be expressed in a renewed interest in phenomenology, hermeneutics 193 in ethnomethodology. Critical Realism, similarly to the far-reaching theories put forward by Anthony Giddens and Pierre Bourdieu, falls within the scope of the said movement. Regardless of the differences that exist between the ontological and the epistemological guidelines of these different currents, they all call for strong opposition to positivism.

Critical Realism is, therefore, a rejection of the positivist pretension to tie the qualitative nature of science to its quantitative aspect. The criticism is, therefore, of the relevance attributed to the extensive collection of data as being a necessary condition for the creation of universal laws governing the natural and social worlds, lsi is based on the development and testing of theories that are linked to the regularity of empirical events O’MAHONEY and VINCENT, Consequently, the human agency emerges as a central aspect and, in spite of llei structural restrictions, subjects cannot be reduced to mere epiphenomenons of these structures.

In the words of Bhaskarp. Fairclough, Jessop and Sayerp. These are determinant in the processes of the “emergence, reproduction and transformation of social structures in virtue of the actions of social actors and the reciprocal influence of these emerging structures on the social initiatives in progress”.

Consequently, whilst assuming a deviation of the subject, the authors do not share those points of view that suggest both the inexistence of a reality outside the discursive dimension, and the dissolution of the subject. As suggested by the authors:. That is, it is concerned with the relationship between semiotics and the material and social aspects of the social world; people and their intentions, beliefs, desires, 7012.

In short, Critical Realism recognises the causual powers that are attributed to the reasons and motivations of authors, individuals or collectives, which can be activated and, consequently produce certain effects within the social world. Critical realists suggest the 702 of formulating theoretical generalisations linked to the discovery of ds mechanisms, provisions and structures that are subjacent to the superficial level of analysis, whose causual powers may expand the explanatory, and not merely descriptive potential d the occurrence of phenomena and events, visible or not in empirical reality.

Critical realists agree with the terms proposed by Giddensp. The priority attributed to ontology, associated with epistemological pluralism, is what lies at the heart of Critical Realism. In other words, one must postulate the existence of a stratified reality and the multiplicity of possibilities that exist for its apprehension.

However, Sayer stresses the impossibility of adopting methods that are typical to fe natural sciences to cope with the hermeneutic dimension of the social sciences. Hamlin suggests certain elements to support the typification of the different realist perspectives that exist. Fallibility, meanwhile, expresses the temporary nature of knowledge, which is subject to rebuttal in virtue of new evidence emerging.

Put together, these df characteristics are central to positivism, an epistemological current that views reality as a series of observable facts. However, two additional elements, namely transphenomenonality and counterphenomenonality, are essential to the proper characterisation of Critical Realism. Transphenomenonality points to a stratified reality, in other words, to beyond that which is observable on an empirical level of analysis.

Counterphenomenonality, meanwhile, postulates that, on diving into the elements at the deepest levels of reality, the researcher may be faced with mechanisms, provisions and subjacent structures, expressed in the form of trends and countertrends, which can help him recognise and reveal the multifaceted nature inherent in le reality HAMLIN, Critical Realism has suggested three distinct fields of reality: Factual reality, meanwhile, includes events whose occurrence may or may not correspond to perception or immediate observation, while the se field is made up se the mechanisms, provisions and subjacent structures, which are causually related to perceptions, observations and to the events that make up the other fields.

Following this brief explanation of the ontological perspective that is used in this article, we now turn our attentions to studies focusing on outsourcing in Brazil, which we follow with a more in-depth look at Bill No.

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The multifaceted reality of the labour market has a number of dimensions through which its different topics can be looked at. Borges and Yamamoto suggest five dimensions for analysing the work or labour category, d are complementary in their focus of analysis. The first, the concrete dimension of analysis, involves the material and environmental conditions under which work is carried out, while the managerial dimension focuses on the new forms of management that have been adopted.

The ideological dimension, meanwhile looks at discursive legitimisation aimed at collective and societal identities, highlighting the power relations within the internal and external scope of companies. The symbolic dimension casts an analytical eye on the subjectivity of workers lel, finally, the socioeconomic dimension deals with a macro 1702 plan, focusing on the study of the inter-relations between the labour market and the social, political and economic dimensions.

A review of brazilian literature on organisational studies, produced in the period between and and coinciding with the period during which Bill No.

In view of the position taken in this article regarding the institution of outsourcing, this literature review has prioritised articles that have taken a critical position in relation to the subject, even though to different degrees and adopting different ontological, epistemological and methodological points of view.

A global analysis of the material that was researched suggests that the authors cover, simultaneously, a variety of dimensions in their research, given their inter-relationships. It is worth noting that the managerial dimension appears in transversal form in the texts, but is not the focus of 712 primary analysis, because of the non-managerial approach employed by the authors. With regard to the concrete dimension of the labour market, its presence in the texts is merely residual, despite the increasing precariousness of the objective conditions of labour.

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This precariousness manifests itself in the growing number of workplace accidents leo have occurred, as well as in work that is often carried out under conditions akin to slavery, common not only in the primary sector of the economy but also in the second and tertiary sectors. Oltramari and Piccininiin a ,ei study of two industrial concerns in the textile sector, point to the adoption lie different levels of automation and managerial and technological innovation and their relationship with different aspects of labour relations, including their significance to the workers.

Their focus is, therefore, on the concrete dimension of analysis. These authors stress, in both cases studied that the essence of having a job and job satisfaction are lost, either because of an intensification in the work that is linked to multifunctionality, or because of the mechanical routine of the work, both of which may be associated with a lack of prospects in terms of professional career advancement. With regard to the symbolic dimension, research has prioritised the perspective of outsourced workers, looking at areas such the subjective construction of the psychological contract, moral harassment, and the construction of a collective identity of workers.

In the case of the psychological contract, Rios and Gondim highlight, from among the results they obtained in their research, the reduced expectations of outsourced workers. This is compared to full-time employees doing the same kind of work, and refers to the receiving of proper treatment on the part of their employer, and the adoption of a more flexible negotiating position on the part of the former, because of the extreme fragility of their employment status.

Lopes and Silvameanwhile, point out that outsourced workers in the IT sector, because they are faced with the uncertainties of the weak employment ties that are typical in their field of employment, tend to value a more solid employment relationship, constructing their professional identities in such a way as to be largely disassociated from any kind of organisational belonging.

They describe themselves as IT professionals and adapt themselves, even if within a conflictive environment, to the pressures of longer working hours caused by the fear of unemployment. However, the heterogeneity of the subjects of this 1893 suggests that the condition of being an outsourced worker affects, in different ways, the expectations of the se surveyed and, therefore, their psychological contracts.

In research focusing on the analysis of the construction of the collective identity of outsourced workers, Brito, Marra and Carrieri described the negative image that these workers have of their work and their own identities, with a relevant impact on the fragmentation of this working-class identity.

Elements such as discrimination, feeling undervalued and insecurity in relation to the future seen among outsourced workers compete, in the view of these authors, to create the social construction of the perception portrayed.

The question of moral harassment suffered by outsourced workers was also a focus of the study, which sought to show some of the ways in which such harassment might manifest itself in the workplace.

Other authors have analysed labour relations and their subjective impacts from the perspective of the psychodynamic of work, showing not only evidence of pleasure being experienced but, above all, suffering experienced by outsourced workers in the workplace.

Along the same lines, Costa looked at the suffering reported by outsourced workers, caused, among other things, by the lower wages received when compared to those received by directly employed workers, by the lack of training, by the lack of job stability and by the lack of a strong relationship with the company with which they maintained direct ties.

Dias, Facas, Morrone et al. In terms of the ideological dimension of analysis, a recurring theme that was observed in literature on the subject referred to the criticism of the discourse that deals, in terms of partnership, with the relationship between contractees and subcontractors, in industrial sectors such as: Overall, these articles showed deep divergences between discourse and practice, especially in the case of those mobilised by the contractee firms.

In short, the articles that were analysed covered four of the five dimensions suggested by Borges and Yamamotowith the socioeconomic dimension, and especially the aspects referring to the inter-relations of organizations with the external political environment, dealt with only on a residual basis. It was, therefore, to fill this void that this study sought to map the institution of outsourcing in the case of Brazil, focusing on its historical dimension and thereby provide some context to the current scenario.

Using this approach, the idea was to highlight the on-going debate over the potential impact of Bill No. Along the same lines, Brito, Marra and Carrierip. In order to contribute to a better understanding of the outsourcing phenomenon, this study has outlined the lengthy process to which the above-mentioned Bill of Law has been submitted.

Our research has helped reveal the battle being fought, for more than a decade now, by a wide range of different collective actors, reflecting the different positions and interests of the employer and the worker classes, as well as the views on the subject defended by different collective actors within civil society, such as the Brazilian Bar Association OAB and Anamatra.