Contract human capital human resource architecture
As contract human capital continues to grow and become a powerful force in the economy contributing to the success of many organizations, it is vital for researchers to enhance their understanding of how organizations engage and manage this component of their workforce. Equally important, is to assess how individuals respond to and perform in a rapidly changing and flexible workplace.
Indeed, the major findings of this study provide many helpful insights for understanding and managing this increasingly important segment of the labor force. While much of SHRM research has enhanced our understanding of how organizations differentiate managing their “traditional” workforce, this study enhances our understanding of how organizations differentiate managing contract human capital based on the interdependency and criticality of the work.
In support of contingency theory, the findings also demonstrate that the strategic reasons for engaging contract human capital impact the choice of HR configuration for managing them. A key strategic moderator is organizational flexibility. It seems organizations seeking functional flexibility do so by investing more in the employment relationship, whereas, those seeking coordination flexibility do so by investing less in the employment relationship.
The findings of this study also shed more light on the determinants and relationship of contract human capital’s perceptions of fairness (POF) and psychological contract breach (PCB). Though there is a large body of research that supports POF moderating the relationship between HR configurations and PCB, this study found support for POF mediating the relationship.
Furthermore, it seems that some contract human capital who enter into these work arrangements to earn more money or develop a skill consider these as valuable outputs to be included in equity comparisons (Adams, 1965; Morrison & Robinson, 1997) when assessing fairness, whereas those whose work preference was flexibility or obtaining permanent employment consider these as promises to be evaluated when assessing psychological contract fulfillment.
Lastly, the results show how contract human capital are managed matters to both the individual and the work group. Alignment of the type of work performed and HR configurations were significantly related to individual task performance and organizational citizenship behaviors.
0624: Occupational psychology
0629: Labor relations
0703: Organizational behavior