The New "Office Temp": Alternative Models of Contingent Labour
Office temps are contingent workers, predominantly female, with secretarial and administrative skills, who hire their services out through an agency to client organizations requiring temporary labour. As organizations face changes in demand and workload, and seek flexible rather than stable structures, 'temping' is increasing in prevalence and importance, and is being used for increasingly skilled and responsible work. Understanding the work orientations and attitudes of temps is of value to employers, agents, and policy makers. Past studies and prevailing discourse on contingent labour suggest a somewhat negative picture of the temp as a member of the secondary labour market, and as a marginalized and insecure victim unable to secure a firm foothold in the economic marketplace. This study suggests a somewhat different picture.
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