When temporary employees are perceived as threatening: antecedents and consequences

von Hippel, Courtney and Kalokerinos, Elise K. (2013) When temporary employees are perceived as threatening: antecedents and consequences. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 33 2: 200-216. doi:10.1108/01437731211203483

Author von Hippel, Courtney
Kalokerinos, Elise K.
Title When temporary employees are perceived as threatening: antecedents and consequences
Journal name Leadership and Organization Development Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0143-7739
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1108/01437731211203483
Volume 33
Issue 2
Start page 200
End page 216
Total pages 17
Place of publication W Yorks, United Kingdom
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this research is to examine the causes and consequences of permanent employees’ perceptions that temporary employees are a threat to their job security.
Design/methodology/approach – The underlying theme of the current research is that an important reason why temporary employees can disrupt the work environment is that permanent workers can perceive them as threatening. A survey of permanent (n ¼ 99) and temporary employees (n ¼ 62) was used to test hypotheses. Multiple sources were used to assess permanent employees’ treatment of their temporary co-workers.
Findings – Permanent employees felt more threatened when they perceived the layoff policy and motives for using temporary workers as inappropriate, and when the position of temporary employees was equal to or above their own rank. The relationship between these feelings of threat and their behavior toward the temporary employees was moderated by temporary employee type. Specifically, permanent employees who did not feel threatened treated involuntary temporary employees better but permanent employees who felt threatened treated voluntary temporary employees better.
Research limitations/implications – The sampling procedure limits the generalizability of the findings.
Practical implications – This paper helps illuminate the dynamics between temporary and permanent workers to enable organizations to decide when temporary employees will be helpful and when they will be harmful. The results provide specific recommendations for when different types of temporary employees should be used.
Originality/value – This paper applies psychological and organizational theories to the workplace to uncover when blended workforces are likely to be problematic.
Keyword Temporary workers
Permanent workers
Blended workforce
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 20:39:50 EST by Mrs Alison Pike on behalf of School of Psychology