The purpose of this research is to examine the causes and consequences of permanent employees' perceptions that temporary employees are a threat to their job security.
The underlying theme of the current research is that an important reason why temporary employees can disrupt the work environment is that permanent workers can perceive them as threatening. A survey of permanent (n=99) and temporary employees (n=62) was used to test hypotheses. Multiple sources were used to assess permanent employees' treatment of their temporary co‐workers.
Permanent employees felt more threatened when they perceived the layoff policy and motives for using temporary workers as inappropriate, and when the position of temporary employees was equal to or above their own rank. The relationship between these feelings of threat and their behavior toward the temporary employees was moderated by temporary employee type. Specifically, permanent employees who did not feel threatened treated involuntary temporary employees better, but permanent employees who felt threatened treated voluntary temporary employees better.
The sampling procedure limits the generalizability of the findings.
This paper helps illuminate the dynamics between temporary and permanent workers to enable organizations to decide when temporary employees will be helpful and when they will be harmful. The results provide specific recommendations for when different types of temporary employees should be used.
This paper applies psychological and organizational theories to the workplace to uncover when blended workforces are likely to be problematic.
von Hippel, C. and Kalokerinos, E. (2012), "When temporary employees are perceived as threatening: antecedents and consequences", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 200-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437731211203483Download as .RIS
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