A conservation of resources study of standard and contingent employees

Laura Madden, Deborah Kidder, Kimberly Eddleston, Barrie Litzky, Franz Kellermanns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the differential effects of workplace stress and the use of social support by contingent vs standard employees. Design/methodology/approach: Conservation of resources (COR) theory is used to frame research questions. Using content analysis of 40 interviews from individuals in the hospitality industry, differences between the levels of stress reported by contingent and standard employees as well as differences in their use of social support networks to offset stress is examined. Findings: Contingent employees report experiencing more stress than do standard employees in the same profession. Furthermore, contingent employees seek out more social support than do standard employees. There was no difference between the two groups with respect to the desire for social support from three sources: vertical, horizontal, and customer groups. Originality/value: This study extends the literature on contingent workers, the literature on how different types of employees deal with stress, as well as adding to the COR literature by showing that contingent employees experience and assuage their stress differently than do standard employees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-661
Number of pages18
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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