Organizational commitment and the well-being of temporary agency workers: A longitudinal study

  • Moser K
  • Galais N
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Abstract

Previous research found that organizational commitment is positively related to employee well-being. However, in the current age of contingent work, transitions, and ‘protean careers’, the advisability of commitment is questionable. Therefore, we analyzed the role of organizational commitment in one paradigmatic area of contingent work arrangements: temporary agency work. In contrast to standard workers, temporary agency workers have to deal with two organiz- ations: the temporary agency and client organization. Results revealed an ambivalent role of organizational commitment for temporary workers. Cross-sectional commitment towards the client organization had positive effects on workers’ well-being, whereas commitment towards the agency had no effects. However, longitu- dinal analyses revealed that commitment to the client was detri- mental to workers’well-being when they experienced reassignment to another client. In sum, we found beneficial and dysfunctional effects of organizational commitment on well-being, which suggest the reconsideration of the role of organizational commitment for individuals in unstable work arrangements.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Contingent work
  • Organizational commitment
  • Temporary agency work
  • Transitions

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Authors

  • Klaus Moser

  • Nathalie Galais

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