Effects of temporary work on the behaviour of employed persons

Content and objectives

The research project deals with temporary workers. These employees, who are employed by an agency that places them at user companies for a limited period of time, are generally considered to be part of the marginal workforce. As such, they receive comparatively little attention from human resource management. The advantages of a flexible employment of temporary agency workers for user companies often lead to disadvantages for the temporary workers themselves. Disadvantages include higher perceived job insecurity, lower income compared to permanent employees, limited access to training, less social integration and support and emotional stress with resulting health consequences. These employment-related disadvantages may be reflected in the lower subjective well-being of temporary workers.

This research project studies how the subjective well-being of temporary agency workers increase their work performance and thus can be improved by user companies.

Project goals

  • Determination of the reasons behind previous inconsistent research findings on temporary agency workers’ well-being.
  • Identification of employment-specific antecedents that influence the subjective well-being of temporary agency workers.
  • Analysis of the perceived organisational support provided by the employment agency and whether it is an employment-related antecedent that positively affects temporary agency workers’ subjective well-being.
  • Identification of the effects of temporary agency workers’ subjective well-being on attitudinal and behavioural variables.
  • Benefits for organisations in the triangular employment relationship from investing in the subjective well-being of their temporary agency workers.
  • Organisational activities for improving the well-being of temporary agency workers.

Methodology

Systematic literature review (mapping), SEM, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA).

Social relevance and application of results

The design of flexible working models is a key issue in today’s employment world. The proportion of temporary workers has risen enormously in recent years, reaching a record high. By combining the three core areas of work flexibility, work behaviour and work experience and examining their effects on work performance (job-related work performance and extra role behaviour) and the satisfaction of the working population (subjective well-being, happiness and job satisfaction), implications for both employees and employers can be derived.

Bamberg competencies

Linking psychological, sociological and management theories and research methods, and assessing the results against the background of the chair’s prior research findings generated in the field of work flexibility and careers.

Publications

Imhof, S., & Andresen, M. (2018). Unhappy with well-being research in temporary work context: Research agenda for temporary agency work. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(1), 127-164. doi: 10.1080/09585192.2017.1384395

Imhof, S., & Andresen, M. (2017). German temporary agency workers‘ subjective well-being: The impact of perceived organizational support provided by agencies. Employee Relations, 39(7), 1030-1047. doi: 10.1108/ER-08-2016-0162

Andresen, M., & Imhof, S. (2016). Wahrgenommene organisationale Unterstützung durch das Zeitarbeitsunternehmen: Einflussfaktor auf das subjektive Wohlbefinden von Zeitarbeitnehmern. AIP Aktueller Informationsdienst für Personaldienstleister 2016/2017, 25-26.

Andresen, M. (2015). A look into the future: Is working time freedom apt to add value for different stakeholders? In: M. Andresen, C. Nowak (Eds.), Human Resource Management Practices: Assessing Added Value (S. 107-124). Heidelberg: Springer.

Imhof, S. (2015). Investing in the subjective well-being of temporary workers. In: M. Andresen, C. Nowak (Eds.), Human Resource Management Practices: Assessing Added Value (S- 163-180). Heidelberg: Springer.

Andresen, M., & Imhof, S. (2014). Lebens- und Arbeitszufriedenheit von Zeitarbeitneh­mern. AIP Aktueller Informationsdienst für Personaldienstleister 2014/2015, 3.

Andresen, M., & Imhof, S. (2013). Investments in the subjective well-being of temporary workers: A controversial discussion. In: Proceedings of the 13th conference of the European Academy of Management (EURAM), “Democratising Management”, Istanbul/Turkey, June 26-29, 2013. 

Imhof, S. (2013). Factors influencing the subjective well-being of temporary workers. In: Proceedings of the 14th conference of the European Academy of Management (EURAM), Valencia/Spain, June 4-6, 2014.

Andresen, M., & Imhof, S. (2013). Investments in the subjective well-being of temporary workers: A controversial discussion. In: Proceedings of the 13th conference of the European Academy of Management (EURAM), "Democratising Management", Istanbul/Turkey, June 26-29, 2013.