Aim of the project
Describing and explaining organizational investments made in work arrangements and training of temporary employees, and the consequences/results of these investments with regard to organizational and employees outcomes in different European countries.
Contact person: Zoltán Lippényi
European employees and employers have been experiencing turbulent economic conditions in recent decades. To serve the organizations’ demand for labor flexibility and employees' need of economic and employment security, the 2001 and 2010 European Employment Guidelines advocated European nations to adapt the so-called Danish flexicurity model. Flexicurity promotes liberalizing regulations on temporary employment contracts and employment protection arrangements in order to achieve flexibility; and at the same time this model advocates active labor market policy (e.g., training) to foster the employability of workers and facilitate transitions between jobs. On average, 14 percent of employees in Europe hold temporary work contracts, a figure which in several countries is even above 20 percent, and seen especially among younger employees.
Even though flexicurity is considered by many as a sustainable trade-off, temporary employees consistently report the experience of lower job satisfaction, lower job and a lower employment security than permanent employees. The wake of the ‘flexible employment relation’ therefore raises concerns of an increasing polarization of the labor force: a group of insiders with secure and high-quality jobs versus a group of outsiders with temporary, insecure, and low-quality jobs. The flexicurity model particularly emphasizes the partnering role of employers in achieving a favorable balance between flexibility and security. However, to what extent European employers are ‘partners’ is yet unknown, since very few studies consider organizational strategies within different national policy contexts.
Investing in temporary workers’ human capital and working arrangements holds an extra ‘problem potential’ for organizations due to the contingent nature of temporary employment relations. The lack of investments in work arrangements and human capital may lead to low level of job satisfaction, performance and employment security among temporary employees, which in turn might affect organizational performance. Yet, it is unknown to what extent flexicurity policies provide incentives or even deter organizations to invest in temporary employees. Moreover, we do not know whether flexicurity mitigates the impact of (under)investments in contracted temporary employees on individual and organizational level outcomes.
This research project integrates individual, organizational and national policy levels in
order to better understand the causes and consequences of organizational investments in temporary employees. Furthermore, we aim to examine the outcomes of these investments for organizational performance and for employees’ job satisfaction, work performance, and perceived employability within different national contexts.