The Career Commitment of Contingent Employees: Evidence of On-Site Engineers in Semiconductor Industry

By Niu, Han-Jen | International Management Review, April 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

The Career Commitment of Contingent Employees: Evidence of On-Site Engineers in Semiconductor Industry


Niu, Han-Jen, International Management Review


[Abstract]

Contingent employees have been one of the most important developments in the labor market in recent years. Most studies have focused on regular workers' commitment to the organization to which they belong. However, career commitment is the variable that describes one's attitude toward professional development. This study examines the relationship between goal instability and career commitment of contingent employees working for a client company and uses a survey of 124 on-site engineers in the semiconductor industry. Hiring contingent employees is likely to be an important trend in the future, and their performance will be even more important to the client company than today. The results conclude that the client company cannot ignore this workforce at a time when market flexibility is crucial and should try to reduce or eliminate on-site employees' dissatisfaction with work conditions if it hopes to ensure their positive attitude towards work and their high performance.

[Keywords] contingent employee; career commitment; goal instability; semiconductor industry; on-site engineer; Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory

Introduction

One of the most notable human resource trends in the past decade is the extraordinary growth in contingent employment arrangements (Marler, et al., 2002). The same organization pays most employees for carrying out their assignments, and, in the past, there have been few exceptions to this rule. However, in recent years, the number of exceptions has been growing. Among them are those employees recruited by a host company, then allocated to work at a client company on an as-needed basis. Such contingent employment relationships are attracting a great deal of both popular and academic attention in a significantly higher than conventional growth rate environment (Lee & Johnson, 1991; Alonzo & Simon, 2008).

Organizational restructuring during the 1980s and a more and more competitive business environment have taught companies that flexibility is a key to survival. Organizations employ temporary workers to enhance organizational flexibility and reduce employment-related costs. Temporary work is a particular form of contingent employment. Contingent employment (atypical employment) covers a wide variety of non-traditional employment arrangements: in-house temporaries, floats, direct-hire or seasonal workers, lease workers, and even consultants and independent contractors (Breugel, et al., 2005). Since the 1980s, new employment arrangements (the so-called "atypical employment") have arisen in advanced, industrialized economies (Cappelli, 2008). Distinct from conventional full-time, open-ended, daily 9-to-5 employment, atypical employment challenges the assumptions of human resource management studies and current employer-employee relations.

Atypical employment arises as businesses cope with uncertain environments and seek everdiminishing profits among global competitors (Callahan & Stuebs Jr, 2007); in order to curtail personnel expenses, firms find flexible, high-value-added labor uses through contracted workers and outsourcing partners. Evolving employment arrangements stem from earlier setups, such as contracted workers and employment agencies, have developed into the latest "employee dispatching" services (Marler, et al., 2002). In response to global competition and telecommunication advances, as well as labor deregulation in various countries, business firms have gradually adopted this employee dispatching practice, which, in turn, affects labor relations in societies. Firms need to undertake the challenges brought about by atypical employment, along with their efforts to cut expenses and to continually search for high value-adding activities and business areas. Some researchers define contingent workers as workers who have no implicit or explicit contract for ongoing employment and show that most contingent workers are in regularly scheduled jobs that do not involve intermediaries (Cohany, 1996). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Career Commitment of Contingent Employees: Evidence of On-Site Engineers in Semiconductor Industry
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.