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Employment Contracts, Psychological Contracts, and Employee Well-BeingAn International Study$
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David E. Guest, Kerstin Isaksson, and Hans De Witte

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542697

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542697.001.0001

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Individual and Organizational Outcomes of Employment Contracts

Individual and Organizational Outcomes of Employment Contracts

(p.65) 4 Individual and Organizational Outcomes of Employment Contracts
Employment Contracts, Psychological Contracts, and Employee Well-Being

Nele De Cuyper

Hans De Witte

Moshe Krausz

Gisela Mohr

Thomas Rigotti

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides some core data comparing the attitudes and experiences of permanent and temporary workers on a range of outcomes. Contrary to initial assumptions, it reveals that temporary workers report more positive attitudes and outcomes than permanent workers on most variables. The chapter seeks explanations for this result. First, it explores whether different work experiences of temporary and permanent workers can explain the differences in attitudes and well‐being but finds no evidence of mediation. Secondly, it explores variations within the temporary workforce based on objective characteristics such as contract type, duration and time left before the contract ends. It finds that differences between types of temporary worker based on these characteristics are small and less than those between all types of temporary worker and permanent workers, confirming that they can sensibly be treated as a single group when compared with permanent workers. The chapter reports subjective characteristics of temporary workers including the reasons why people undertake temporary work and shows that it is mainly used as a stepping stone or arises from the difficulty of finding a permanent job. These are more frequently cited than deliberately choosing temporary work. However the subjective characteristics, including reasons for undertaking temporary work and perceived employment prospects, have little impact in explaining variations in the well‐being of temporary workers.

Keywords:   attitudes of permanent and temporary workers, well‐being, reasons for undertaking temporary work, volition, prospects, stepping stone

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