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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2019

Filipa Sobral, Eddy S. Ng, Filipa Castanheira, Maria José Chambel and Bas Koene

A major trend in the changing nature of work is the increasing use of temporary workers. Although common among students, older employees have joined the ranks of temporary workers…

Abstract

Purpose

A major trend in the changing nature of work is the increasing use of temporary workers. Although common among students, older employees have joined the ranks of temporary workers as they extend their work lives. Temporary workers tend to report lower affective commitment and consequently poorer work outcomes. However, different generations of workers may conceive temporary work differently from each other. The purpose of this paper is to explore how different generations of temporary workers, respond to human resource practices (HRP), which in turn influences their affective commitment and work performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample is comprised of 3,876 temporary agency workers (TAWs) from seven temporary employment agencies in Portugal. The authors undertook multiple group SEM analyses to test a moderated mediation model that accounts for TAWs’ affective commitment (toward the agency and the client company) across three generations (Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials) in the relationship between human resources practices and overall perceived performance.

Findings

After controlling for gender, age and tenure, the authors find generational differences in the perceptions of HRP and perceived performance. The results support the moderator effect of generations in the direct and indirect relationships – through both affective commitments – between TAWs’ perceived HRP and perceived performance.

Research limitations/implications

The cross-sectional design limits the possibility to make causal inferences.

Originality/value

This study contributes to a better understanding of how different generations respond to temporary employment relationships. The findings suggest important differences in the way in which the same HRP system relates (directly and indirectly thorough affective commitment toward the client) with their perceived performance across different generations.

Article
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Maria José Chambel and Filipa Sobral

The purpose of this paper is to analyse whether a social exchange relationship between temporary workers and organizations is possible. The authors aim to consider whether, when…

4840

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse whether a social exchange relationship between temporary workers and organizations is possible. The authors aim to consider whether, when training is perceived by an employee as an organizational practice that promotes his or her employability, this entails a social exchange relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys from 240 call centre workers were analyzed using correlation and multiple regression to explore relationships between training to promote employability, perceived organizational support (POS) and affective commitment.

Findings

The data support the idea that social exchange theories are useful frameworks in explaining temporary workers' affective commitment towards organisations. Organisational investment in training was positively related to the affective commitment of these temporary workers. However, employees attributed greater importance to the fact that training increased their employability than to the number of training hours received. The relationship between this human resource management practice and affective commitment partly occurred through the perceived organisational support. Such perception partially mediates the relationship between training as a promoter of employability and this positive attitude.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited due to sample nature and the lack of longitudinal design. It does not provide implications for other types of commitment that may be relevant for temporary workers (continuance commitment, for example).

Practical implications

An important implication from this research is that employers should not assume that training is an investment without return from temporary workers. Developmental opportunities, while important to all employees, did make temporary workers more committed to organizations.

Originality/value

The paper is the first, to the authors' knowledge, to assess training as promoting employability with a specific measure. While the results are simple, they refute many stereotypes of temporary workers and add an important perspective to the human resource management literature.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Maria José Chambel and Filipa Castanheira

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of training to explain affective commitment and exhaustion of temporary agency workers (TAW). There is a general assumption that…

2056

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of training to explain affective commitment and exhaustion of temporary agency workers (TAW). There is a general assumption that training relates with a social exchange relationship where employees exchange positive outcomes, not only with inducements received by training but also with the expectation of prospective inducements that will emerge from the fulfilment of promises made by the organization.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses were tested on a sample of 393 Portuguese blue‐collar TAW using structural equation modeling.

Findings

The hypotheses were supported. Training was positively related to workers' affective commitment and negatively to workers' exhaustion. Psychological contract fulfilment partially mediated these relationships.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited due to the nature of the sample (TAW in industrial sector with similar training opportunities as permanent workers) and the lack of longitudinal design. Neither does it provide implications for other types of commitment that may be relevant for TAW (continuance commitment, for example).

Practical implications

An important implication of this research is that employers should not assume that training is an investment without return from TAW. Developmental opportunities, while important to all employees, were positively related to TAW' affective commitment towards the organization and negatively to TAW' exhaustion.

Originality/value

The findings highlighted the importance of training in developing positive employment relationships with TAW and the role of psychological contract fulfilment as a mechanism that contributes to explain such relationship.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

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