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The Rise of Precarious Employment in Europe
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-587-0

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2007

Marloes de Graaf‐Zijl and Ernest E. Berkhout

The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between gross domestic product (GDP) and agency work.

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2268

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between gross domestic product (GDP) and agency work.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper develops a theoretical model for the time interdependence of GDP, agency work and regular employment and tested model predictions using a VAR model.

Findings

Results show that on the macro level temporary agency work leads GDP development. Temporary agency work is an excellent instrument for employers to adjust the size of their workforce to fluctuations in product demand. Temporary work agencies, however, have a tough job finding qualified personnel in tight labour markets because workers generally prefer the security of a permanent contract. It is shown in this paper that, as a result of these two countervailing forces, the number of hours worked through temporary work agencies precedes GDP development. Agency work increases in the last phase of a recession after regular workers have been dismissed. It expands further, in line with GDP, when the trough is passed until agency worker's labour supply stagnates. This leads to a decrease in agency hours even before the business cycle reaches its peak. Then agency work declines further, in line with GDP, until regular workers are dismissed and the cycle start again.

Originality/value

Temporary work arrangements have become a key area of interest for firms, academics and policy makers. This paper shows how the use of these work arrangement fluctuates over time. Also, this paper shows that agency work can be used in predicting future GDP development.

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International Journal of Manpower, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Catherine E. Connelly, Daniel G. Gallagher and Jane Webster

This empirical study aims to determine whether justice perceptions formed in one context (i.e. the agency or the client) relate to work behaviors in another context (i.e…

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2358

Abstract

Purpose

This empirical study aims to determine whether justice perceptions formed in one context (i.e. the agency or the client) relate to work behaviors in another context (i.e. the client or the agency). To provide a balanced perspective, it seeks to examine both organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) and counterproductive workplace behaviors (CWBs). It also aims to understand how workers' “volition” or their attitudes towards temporary employment would affect their behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the hypotheses, 157 temporary agency workers were surveyed; these data were analyzed with structural equation modeling (SEM). To ensure that the measures were appropriate for the context of temporary agency employment, a two‐stage pretest was conducted.

Findings

The results suggest that temporary agency worker perceptions of interpersonal justice from their agencies and their client organizations “spillover” and are indeed related to their OCBs and CWBs in both contexts. Furthermore, the extent to which workers voluntarily chose temporary agency employment related to agency‐directed OCBs, while a preference for permanent employment related to client‐directed OCBs.

Originality/value

This study provides insight into the ways in which perceptions formed in one context (i.e. interpersonal justice) may spill over and affect behaviors in another context. The findings also contribute to the broader literature on how volition affects temporary agency worker behaviors.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2009

Jeroen de Jong, Nele De Cuyper, Hans De Witte, Inmaculada Silla and Claudia Bernhard‐Oettel

This paper aims to offer a typology of temporary workers, based on their motives for accepting their work arrangement, which includes voluntary, involuntary and…

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2283

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer a typology of temporary workers, based on their motives for accepting their work arrangement, which includes voluntary, involuntary and stepping‐stone motives, and relate this typology to various individual and work‐related variables.

Design/methodology/approach

Latent class analysis of 645 European workers was used to construct a typology of temporary workers. Variation of individual and work‐related variables between types of temporary workers was analyzed using ANOVA.

Findings

The analyses suggest that there are three types of workers: involuntary temporary workers highlight the involuntary motive and the stepping‐stone motive; the stepping‐stone type stresses the stepping‐stone motive only, and the non‐involuntary group disagrees with all three motives. Moreover, the groups differed significantly on important work‐related variables such as occupational position, tenure, employability, and work‐involvement. However, differences in individual variables were limited.

Research limitations/implications

The research puts forward a more complex typology of temporary workers than is usually suggested. Moreover, the study shows a non‐involuntary group for which temporary employment can become a trap, and hence these workers should be targeted by future policy and interventions.

Originality/value

The research offers a typology of temporary workers, which is founded on motivation theory, and existing research on motives for accepting temporary employment.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Anne Hilda Wiltshire

The purpose of this paper is to delineates workers’ labour turnover and considerations around work, in a context of informalisation of work, through a case study of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to delineates workers’ labour turnover and considerations around work, in a context of informalisation of work, through a case study of temporary non-resident farm workers in the deciduous fruit sector in Ceres, South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design is a three-phase exploratory sequential mixed-methods strategy. Findings from 29 in-depth interviews were refined, verified and ranked in four focus groups. These informed grounded indicators in a survey of 200 farm workers employed in peak season and their 887 household members.

Findings

Considerations are informed by work-related insecurities, interpersonal workplace relationships and reproductive insecurity in the form of care of others, social linkages and residential insecurity, seemingly hierarchical. The least important considerations most thwart workers’ ability to complete fixed-term contracts and account for over 70 per cent of labour turnover in the form of resignations. In sum, workers experience constrained considerations around work arising from their material, social and economic conditions.

Originality/value

This is the first study on the labour turnover of farm workers in South Africa and the fifth globally. The research gives precedence to the voice of farm workers and is a thick description of workers’ considerations around work.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 38 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Jo Carby‐Hall

Discusses the long existing and confusing problems of establishing the relationship of who is, and who if not, a dependent worker. Reflects developments which have…

Abstract

Discusses the long existing and confusing problems of establishing the relationship of who is, and who if not, a dependent worker. Reflects developments which have occurred in British law as it affects the employment field, plus an evaluation and analysis of some of the different types of employment relationships which have evolved by examining, where possible, the status of each of these relationships. Concludes that the typical worker nowadays finds himself in a vulnerable position both economically and psychologically owing to the insecurity which exists.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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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…

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4469

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

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Nele De Cuyper, Hans De Witte and Hetty Van Emmerik

The purpose of this paper is to answer two questions: How do temporary workers achieve well‐being and optimal functioning? and how is it possible to promote commitment and…

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4912

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to answer two questions: How do temporary workers achieve well‐being and optimal functioning? and how is it possible to promote commitment and productive behaviours among temporary workers?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of a literature review and synthesis.

Findings

Temporary employment can no longer be seen as exclusively bad or as a signal of labour market segmentation. Instead, mechanisms to promote commitment and productive behaviour that are beneficial for all parties involved can be identified. Temporary employment is a reality that is here to stay and that searches for mechanisms to reconcile the sometimes conflicting perspectives of employees and employers. This new approach is promising but researchers should also account for and create awareness about potential and sometimes less visible drawbacks associated with temporary employment (e.g. social isolation or negative implications for career success).

Originality/value

The paper shows a new approach to temporary work from both the employer and employee perspective.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Salomé Goñi-Legaz and Andrea Ollo-López

The purpose of this paper is to establish to what extent temporary contract and participation in decision making impact on employees job satisfaction and to propose a…

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1023

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish to what extent temporary contract and participation in decision making impact on employees job satisfaction and to propose a model whereby participation in decision making mitigates against the negative impact that temporary work has on job satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use data for a representative sample of 14,778 employees in 23 European countries. In order to test the hypotheses, the authors use regression models and the Chow test.

Findings

The results show that while temporary contracts decreases job satisfaction, participation in decision making increases it. However, autonomous teams, job autonomy, and job involvement buffer against the negative effect that temporary contract has on job satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The use of secondary data and the non-longitudinal nature of the data set.

Practical implications

The effect of participation in decision making in job satisfaction is greater for temporary workers than for permanents. Participation in decision making should not be restricted to permanent workers.

Originality/value

Participation in decision making and temporary contracts has been considered incompatible practices. The paper contributes to enrich the understanding of the relationship between these practices and job satisfaction. Sample representatives support the results obtained.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Maria José Chambel

The purpose of this paper is to set out to analyze the supervisor psychological contract as a new psychological contract focus. Furthermore, the relationship between this…

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1300

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to set out to analyze the supervisor psychological contract as a new psychological contract focus. Furthermore, the relationship between this psychological contract and the organizational psychological contract is compared in the prediction of job satisfaction and organizational affective commitment among a sample of traditional (in-house) and temporary agency workers.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses were tested with multiple group analyses in a sample of 444 Portuguese call center workers: 215 were in-house and 229 were temporary agency workers.

Findings

Results confirmed that workers, regardless of their status, distinguished these two foci of psychological contract. However, for temporary workers, the supervisor psychological contract partially mediated the relationship between the organizational psychological contract and attitudes; while for in-house workers the organizational psychological contract was relevant to explain job satisfaction and the two foci of the psychological contract related independently to workers’ affective commitment toward the organization.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited due to the nature of the sample (call center sector where temporary agency and in-house workers received similar opportunities and treatment) and the lack of a longitudinal design.

Practical implications

An important implication of this research is that employers should assume the relevance of the supervisor for temporary agency workers. The social exchange between them and the host organization occurs in part through his/her actions.

Originality/value

Although supervisor psychological contract has been acknowledged, as far as the authors know there are no empirical studies that support its existence or analyzes its relevance in worker-organization relationships.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

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