Publication Date

February 1998


Drawing on social exchange theory and research on organizational commitment, we developed a model of contingent workers’ commitment to two foci: their hiring agencies and the organizations to which they have been assigned. Hypotheses were tested using survey data from 197 contingent workers. We found that commitment to the hiring agency was positively related to pay satisfaction and perceived organizational support from the agency. Commitment to the client organization was positively related to perceived organizational support from the client, co-worker relations, and job satisfaction. Preference for contingent work exhibited a positive relationship with pay and job satisfaction. Holding job and pay satisfaction constant, we found that commitment was negatively related to preference for contingent work. Of the factors studied, perceived organizational support exhibited the largest effect. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Suggested Citation
Barringer, M. W. & Sturman, M. C. (1998). The effects of variable work arrangements on the organizational commitment of contingent workers (CAHRS Working Paper #98-02). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.