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German temporary agency workers’ SWB: the impact of POS provided by agencies

Susanne Imhof (Department of Social Sciences, Economics, and Business Administration, University of Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany)
Maike Andresen (Department of Social Sciences, Economics, and Business Administration, University of Bamberg, Bamberg, Germany)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 6 November 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the specific relationship between temporary agency workers (TAWs) and their employing temporary work agencies in Germany that is characterized – in contrast to other European countries – by agencies’ central role in employment and the prevalence of permanent contracts. The study addresses a research gap in understanding the mediating role of perceived organizational support (POS) provided by temporary work agencies in the relationship between employment-specific antecedents and TAWs’ subjective well-being (SWB).

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a sample of 350 TAWs in Germany, the mediating role of POS provided by agencies is analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

The authors show that procedural justice, performance feedback and social network availability positively relate to POS while perceived job insecurity shows the expected negative influence and distributive justice has no impact on POS. POS, in turn, positively relates to SWB. The partially mediating effect of POS between employment-specific antecedents and SWB is also confirmed.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on cross-sectional data and self-reported measures; this may limit causal inferences.

Practical implications

The results highlight the importance of agencies creating POS and reducing perceived job insecurity for improving TAWs’ SWB.

Originality/value

The study contributes to previous POS research by focusing on the agencies’ role and by showing the mediating effect of POS on TAWs’ SWB in Germany.

Keywords

Citation

Imhof, S. and Andresen, M. (2017), "German temporary agency workers’ SWB: the impact of POS provided by agencies", Employee Relations, Vol. 39 No. 7, pp. 1030-1047. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-08-2016-0162

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited