New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 7: Temporary employment, quality of working life and well-being
The current recession leads many organizations to downsize their workforce in order to optimize their profits. Non-core activities are often outsourced and organizations rely, to an increasing degree, on temporary labour. In this way, they can conveniently manage fluctuations in the demand for their products, without taking on long-term obligations by recruiting workers on a permanent basis. However, the implications for the workers affected by this tendency towards flexibilization of the labour market are unclear. Therefore, the current chapter reviews, integrates and criticizes previous (primarily theoretical) work on the effects of having temporary (versus permanent) employment on workers’ health, well-being and work-related attitudes. Next, we discuss promising venues for future research in this field. In line with OECD (2002: 170), we define temporary employment as ‘dependent employment of limited duration’, thus excluding self-employed and (part-time and full-time) permanent workers.
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