- Informal learning of temporary agency workers in low-skill jobs: The role of self-profiling, career control, and job challenge
- Career Development International
- Volume | Issue number
- 20 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop and investigate the idea that self-profiling and career control by temporary agency workers (TAWs) in low-skill jobs are positively related to informal learning and that this relationship is mediated by job challenge.
Design/methodology/approach: An online survey study was conducted among 722 TAWs in low-skill jobs in the Netherlands. Bootstrap mediation analyses were used to test the hypotheses.
Findings: Self-profiling and career control are positively related to informal learning of TAWs and these relationships are mediated by job challenge.
Research limitations/implications: This is the first study to develop and empirically test the proposition that self-profiling and career control are important factors for enhancing employees’ learning experiences in low-skill jobs.
Practical implications: Hiring companies and temporary work agencies could stimulate and train TAWs’ self-profiling and career control competencies to enhance their job challenge and informal learning. Organizations should consider assigning challenging tasks to TAWs, which may be a good alternative for expensive formal training programs.
Social implications: Many TAWs in low-skill jobs do not possess the skills and capacities to obtain a better or more secure job. In general, temporary workers face a higher risk of unemployment and greater income volatility (Segal and Sullivan, 1997). Gaining knowledge about how to develop this group is important for society as a whole.
Originality/value: Research on the determinants of informal learning mainly concerned higher-educated employees and managers with long-term contracts (e.g. Dong et al., 2014), whereas very little is known about factors that stimulate informal learning among TAWs in general, and among TAWs in low-skill jobs in particular.
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