Who goes? Who cares? Who stays? Who wants to?:The role of contingent workers and corporate layoff practices

James W. Bishop, Michael G. Goldsby, Christopher P. Neck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Traditional employment practices since the Second World War had usually ensured job security for a company's workforce. However, the increasingly competitive environment and the restructuring of companies in the 1980s and 1990s have made this practice impossible to continue; therefore, layoffs have become a fact of life for employees in an increasing number of industries. The purpose of this study was to examine attitudes in two employment environments, one in which temporary workers were used to shield permanent employees from layoffs and another in which layoff decisions were made without regard to permanent or temporary status. Specifically, examination was made of the relationships among perceived organizational support (POS), organizational commitment, and intention to quit, and the relative levels of these variables across two environments and the two classes of workers. It was found that, as expected, the relationships among the commitment variables and intention to quit were similar within both environments. Also, as expected, levels of commitment in the “shield” environment were higher than in the “layoff” environment; and POS was higher among temporary employees in the “shield” environment than among permanent workers in the “layoff” environment. A particularly interesting finding was that, in the “layoff” environment, POS among temporary workers was higher than among permanent workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-315
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Contingency planning
  • Layoffs
  • Organizational policy
  • Temporary workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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