Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 175–189 | Cite as

Extrinsic Motives as Moderators in the Relationship Between Fairness and Work-Related Outcomes Among Temporary Workers

  • Jeroen de Jong
  • René Schalk



This study assessed how motives for having a temporary job influence the effects of experienced fairness on work-related attitudes.


We examined the moderating effect of three motives for being in temporary employment (the autonomous or voluntary motive, the stepping-stone motive, and the controlled or involuntary motive) on the relationship between experienced fairness and outcomes. Hierarchical multiple regressions were performed on questionnaire data of a sample of 299 Dutch temporary workers.


For temporary employees who accepted temporary employment voluntarily, low fairness is related to lower self-reported performance. For employees who use their temporary job as a way to obtain permanent employment, fairness is not related to work-related attitudes and behavioral intentions. Those who are involuntarily in a temporary job react stronger on fairness and have a higher intention to quit.


Fairness is weakly related to work-related attitudes and behavioral intentions under two conditions: when perceived goal attainment is high, and when the worker is dependent on the temporary job to reach that goal. This study provides support for the assumption that motives may override automatic responses to fairness.


This article is one of the first studies that provide evidence for the influence of motives on reactions to fairness. Additionally, this study considers reactions to fairness in a growing contingent of the workforce, that is temporary workers. It provides evidence that the dynamics in fairness perceptions may be different for temporary workers in comparison to their counterparts with permanent contracts.


Temporary employment Motives Job expectations Fairness Goal attainment Goal dependency Moderators 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Organization StudiesTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

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