Employment agency workers, their job satisfaction and their influence on permanent workers

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Agency workers are a fundamental part of modern work being characterised in the workplace by a triangular employment relationship between them, the employment agency and the third party employer. The thesis was concerned about the job satisfaction of agency workers on two counts. Firstly, what contributed towards the job satisfaction of this unique type of worker? Secondly, what differences in job satisfaction and related variables arise between agency workers and permanent workers? Preliminary research along with a literature review on job satisfaction and agency workers formulated two sets of hypotheses, those variables relating to agency worker job satisfaction (relational hypotheses), and differences between permanent workers and agency workers (differential hypotheses). Both sets of hypotheses were tested by a quantitative survey, which surveyed 96 agency workers for the relational hypotheses and 157 call centre workers for the differential hypotheses. For the differential hypotheses a control group was used to address the possible influence that the employment of agency workers may have on permanent workers that hitherto has not been controlled for in studies of a similar nature. Semi-structured interviews with workers and employers were used to enlarge the quantitative findings. Organisational commitment, permanent and agency worker relationship were found to be significantly related to job satisfaction in both a correlation and hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis. Involuntary work status had no correlation challenging previous research. Significant differences were seen between agency workers and permanent workers on a number of variables including skill variety, job satisfaction, organisational commitment and job security satisfaction. These results both supported and contradicted previous studies primarily as preceding research had not accounted for the possible influence that agency workers may have on the permanent workers under research
Date of Award2003
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Leicester
SupervisorStephen Swailes (Supervisor)

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