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A Comparative Examination of Employee Engagement, Affective Organizational Commitment, and Turnover Intention in Permanent and Temporary Workers

Anthony Charles Solaqua, Johnson & Wales University


Companies in the United States continue to utilize temporary workers as a cost-efficient way to achieve labor flexibility around demand uncertainty. This trend has accelerated over the past several decades in the American workforce, with 10.7% of workers being considered temporary in 2005, and expanding to 15.8% in 2015. Simultaneously, companies have sought to maximize workforce outcomes that increase productivity and performance in a competitive environment. Improving employee engagement has been widely understood to be a comprehensive strategy by companies to achieve several positive workforce results. While these efforts have historically been focused on a company’s permanent workforce, the increasing use of temporary employees creates a complexity in how management directs their efforts at cultivating engagement across the organization. Previous literature has examined engagement in temporary employees in a European context, but few have looked specifically at United States temporary employees, and no known studies have utilized the UWES-9 engagement instrumentation to do so. This quantitative study’s purpose was to understand work engagement in a means comparison approach of permanent and temporary employees working in the United States. Additionally, this study employed a correlational research and linear regression approach to also understanding engagement’s relationship to affective organizational commitment and job turnover intention. Using a combined instrument including the UWES-9, the revised affective organizational commitment and job turnover intention (TIS-6) questionnaires, data was collected by a Qualtrics panel service sample of 565 United States permanent and temporary employees in a broad national survey across industries. Research revealed engagement presented no statistically significant differences in mean values between groups, except for absorption which showed higher in permanent employees rather than temporary employees. Additionally, affective organizational commitment was significantly higher in permanent employees than temporary employees, with no statistical significance means differences in turnover intention between groups. This study adds a unique American perspective on engagement in temporary employees to the literature and can assist in developing strategies beneficial to organization’s efforts in increasing engagement when using temporary employees.

Subject Area

Organization Theory|Business administration|Organizational behavior

Recommended Citation

Solaqua, Anthony Charles, "A Comparative Examination of Employee Engagement, Affective Organizational Commitment, and Turnover Intention in Permanent and Temporary Workers" (2022). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI29995504.