Reciprocity of temporary and permanent workers: an exploratory study in an industrial company

Sílvia Lopes, Maria José Chambel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing use of temporary work prompts the need to understand to what degree workers with this type of contract differ from permanent workers as to the relationship they establish with the organization they work for. This study used a sample of temporary workers (N = 78) and permanent workers (N = 196) within the same company of electronics in Portugal. The results show that, regardless of the type of contract, the perception of human resource practices was related to the perception of psychological contract fulfillment by the company. Additionally and according to the norm of reciprocity, we verified that when workers thought the company was fulfilling its obligations they responded favorably showing more affective commitment towards the company. However, we found differences between these two groups of workers: for the permanent performance appraisal, training and rewards were human resources practices that were significantly related to psychological contract fulfillment, while for the temporary ones there weren't any specific practices that had a significant relationship with that variable. The practical implications of these findings for the management of temporary workers are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1176
Number of pages14
JournalThe Spanish journal of psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Affective commitment
  • Human resources practices
  • Psychological contract
  • Temporary workers


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