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Alternative work arrangements

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Attached image of Alternative work arrangements

Author(s): Connelly, C. E., & Murphy, M.

Date: 2017

Resource: In D. Ones, N. Anderson, H. Sinangil, & C. Viswesvaran (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of industrial, work & organizational psychology (2nd ed., vol. 3). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Workplaces are changing. No longer is it assumed that every worker will be employed with a single employer for his or her entire career, and no longer do all employees work 40-hour weeks at the office. Alternative work arrangements, such as temporary work, contracting, part-time employment, and telecommuting are not new; they have always existed in different formats. However, in contemporary workplaces, it is now understood that many workers and employers will have a significant degree of flexibility in terms of when, where, and how work is completed. We need to consider carefully how the context of employment affects worker attitudes and behaviors.

Moreover, workers with alternative employment arrangements cannot be treated as a homogenous group. For example, the impact of the length (i.e. short duration) of an employment contract is potentially qualitatively different than the impact of its variability (i.e. job insecurity). That is, while some employees with fixed-term contracts will find this arrangement stressful, this is not necessarily the case for all employees in this category. In this chapter, we therefore discuss three of the most common alternative work arrangements: telecommuting, part-time employment, and contingent work. In particular, we discuss how individual workers’ attitudes and behaviors are shaped by these arrangements, with a particular focus on organizational commitment, job satisfaction, work stress, and work–life balance. In our concluding remarks, we discuss new and growing types of alternative work arrangements that should receive more attention, and we identify international differences in alternative work arrangement research that warrant additional study.

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Related Research Areas: Temporary and Gig Workers