The temporary agency worker’s motivation profile analysis

Filipa Sobral*, Maria José Chambel, Filipa Castanheira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Self-Determination Theory (SDT) establishes that human motivations can take different forms (e.g., amotivation, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation), yet it is only recently that the theory has been advanced to explain how these different forms combine to influence temporary agency workers’ (TAWs) affective commitment and their perception over the human resources practices (HRP) applied. We tested this theory with data from seven temporary agency companies (N = 3766). Through latent profile analysis (LPA) we identified five distinct motivation profiles and found that they differed in their affective commitment to the agency and to the client-company, and in their perception of HRP. We verified that temporary agency workers in more intrinsic profiles had more positive outcomes and a better perception of the investment made by the companies, than did TAWs in more extrinsic profiles. Additionally, when TAWs were able to integrate the reasons for being in this work arrangement, the negative effect of the extrinsic motivation was attenuated, and it was possible to find moderated profiles in which TAWs also showed more positive results than TAWs with only extrinsic motives. These differences are consistent with the notion that a motivation profile provides a context that determines how the individual components are experienced. Theoretical and practical implications of this context effect are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6779
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2021


  • Motivation
  • Commitment
  • Human resources management
  • Cross sectional studies


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