Serving two organizations: Exploring the employment relationship of contracted employees

Coyle-Shapiro, Jackie, Morrow, Paula and Kessler, Ian (2006) Serving two organizations: Exploring the employment relationship of contracted employees. Human Resource Management, 45 (4). pp. 561-583.


Although growth has occurred in contract employment arrangements both in the public and private sectors, scant research has been conducted on the organizations and employees affected by these arrangements.This study examines the employment relationship of long-term contracted employees using a social exchange framework. Specifically, we examine the effects of employee perceptions of organizational support from contracting and client organizations on their (a) affective commitment to each organization and (b) service-oriented citizenship behavior. We also examine whether felt obligation toward each organization mediates this relationship. Our sample consists of 99 long-term contracted employees working for four contracting organizations that provide services to the public on behalf of a municipal government. Results indicate that the antecedents of affective commitment are similar for the client and contracting organization. Employee perceptions of client organizational supportiveness were positively related to felt obligation and commitment to the client organization. Client felt obligation mediated the effects of client perceived organizational support (POS) on the participation dimension of citizenship behavior. Our study provides additional support for the generalizability of social exchange processes to nontraditional employment relationships. Implications for managing long-term contracted employees are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: human resources management; industrial relations; outsourcing
Subject(s): Organisational behaviour
Centre: Faculty of Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2012 12:46
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:06

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