Alternative work arrangements: Two images of the new world of work

By: Gretchen M. Spreitzer, Lindsey Cameron, Lyndon Garrett

Spreitzer, G., Garrett, L., & Cameron, L. (2017). Alternative Work Arrangements: Two Images
of the New World of Work. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and
Organizational Behavior, 4(1): 473-499.


Alternative work arrangements continue to increase in number and variety. We review the literature on alternative work arrangements published since the most recent major review of nonstandard work by Ashford et al. (2007). We look across the research findings to identify three dimensions of flexibility that undergird alternative work arrangements: (a) flexibility in the employment relationship, (b) flexibility in the scheduling of work, and (c) flexibility in where work is accomplished. We identify two images of the new world of work—one for high-skill workers who choose alternative work arrangements and the other for low-skill workers who struggle to make a living and are beholden to the needs of the organization. We close with future directions for research and practice for tending to the first image and moving away from the second image of the new world of work.