Organizational demography and group relations
MetadataShow full item record
In an effort to respond to fluctuations in demand, increase their flexibility, and lower payroll costs, many organizations increasingly hire nonstandard workers. Although this may help organizations save money in some areas, the reduction in expenses may be accompanied by an increase in other, often overlooked, costs. This dissertation is the first to provide a large-scale, multi-level examination of the connection between the use of nonstandard workers and social outcomes such as hostile behaviors, relations between employees and management, and experiences of sexual harassment. It also provides an examination of organizational demography’s ability to explain outcomes related to the use of nonstandard workers. Previous studies have tended to be qualitative or only examine one type of nonstandard worker. Existing quantitative studies tend to be based on non-representative samples. Further, few are able to match establishment and individual-level findings to examine which workers are more likely affected by establishment-level outcomes. Finally, most previous research has focused on practical rather than theoretical contributions. Using matched data from the 2002 General Social Survey (GSS) and the National Organizations Survey (NOS), I found that establishments with nonstandard workers have greater incidents of hostile behaviors, poorer employee-management relations, and more instances of sexual harassment than organizations without nonstandard workers. I also found support that these outcomes are affected by the proportion of nonstandard workers in an establishment, supporting arguments made by tokenism, as well as by numbers and recent changes in the use of nonstandard workers. Different types of workers have different effects on these outcomes. Nevertheless, the establishment-level results do not indicate that nonstandard workers are the ones affected by the outcomes, as individual-level data are needed to examine this claim. Individual-level findings indicate that nonstandard workers are not necessarily the targets of hostility and sexual harassment. Finally, standard workers report poorer relations with management than do nonstandard workers. I end with implications for theory, organizations and for future research.