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Contract moderation effects on temporary agency workers’ affective organizational commitment and perceptions of support

Marianna Giunchi (Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy)
Maria José Chambel (Faculty of Psychology, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)
Chiara Ghislieri (Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 2 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Temporary agency workers (TAWs) have a double employment relationship: one with the agency that hires them with a formal contract, either temporary or permanent; and another with the client organization where they actually perform their work. As the social-exchange theory assumes that TAWs respond to the support they receive from both organizations with affective commitment toward the respective organization. The purpose of this paper is to propose that the type of contract with the agency moderates these relationships, specifically that permanent TAWs present a stronger relationship between perceived organizational support (POS) and affective organizational commitment (AOC) toward the agency and, to the contrary, that temporary TAWs show a greater relationship between POS and AOC toward the client.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses were tested with a sample of 522 Portuguese TAWs, of which 265 were temporaries and 257 were permanents. Data were collected with a self-report questionnaire and analyzed with multigroup analysis using the AMOS program.

Findings

The authors verified that POS from both the employment agency and the client organization were related to the TAWs’ affective commitment to each respective organization. Furthermore, the relationship between POS from the employment agency and the affective commitment to this organization was stronger in permanent than in temporary TAWs. However, contrary to the expectations, the contract with the agency did not moderate the relationship with client organizations: temporary and permanent TAWs showed a similar relationship between POS from this organization and their affective commitment toward it.

Practical implications

These findings show the important organizational role of both the employment agency and the client in supporting their TAWs and attending to the type of contract they have with the employment agency.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the analysis of the TAWs’ double employment relationship and highlights the role of the agency contract in the explanation of these relationships.

Keywords

Citation

Giunchi, M., Chambel, M.J. and Ghislieri, C. (2015), "Contract moderation effects on temporary agency workers’ affective organizational commitment and perceptions of support", Personnel Review, Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 22-38. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-03-2014-0061

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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