I do it for myself : A study on motivational differences between contracted and permanent employees in Sweden

University essay from Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet; Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet


Over the past decades outsourcing decades outsourcing has become an increasing trend.Firms decide to outsource in order to increase their profits or flexibility and many differentfunctions of the firm may be outsourced, one of them being the Human Resource (HR)function. When it comes to HR outsourcing, recruitment and selection are among the morecommon functions to be outsourced (Ordanini & Silvestri, 2008:373). The motivation foroutsourcing of HR is to reduce cost and increase efficiency (Elmuti, Grunewald and Abebe,2010:177).

Outsourcing of HR functions like recruitment can also have negative aspect, forexample lack of loyalty and high turnover (Fisher et al, 2008:202). Previous research hasinvestigated how commitment and loyalty is affected by HR outsourcing (Connelly &Gallagher, 2004:963) and one aspect that has been touched upon but not dealt withexclusively is motivation and therefore this paper will explore it further.

Using the following research question:

How does motivation vary between individuals working at a company butare hired through a staffing firm versus hired directly by the company?

This paper tries to both evaluate the existing literature and provide practicalimplications for managers. In order to explore this question and abductive research approachhas been used where the data and theory are intertwined and played of each other to achievethe purpose (Alvesson & Sköldberg, 2009:4). The data collection consists of eight semistructuredinterviews, four with people hired directly by the company and four that are orhave previously been hired through a staffing company.

The study found that the theoretical framework does for the most part explain themotivational behavior of both groups studied, and that the two groups are not alwaysmotivated in the same way. Those hired directly by the company are more interested inreceiving praise, relationships at work, and receiving small tokens of appreciation. The grouphired by staffing companies was more often motivated by an internal drive to satisfythemselves and did not value work relationships to the same extent. The research also showedthat the individual rather than the form of employment plays a big role when it comes to howpeople are motivated. It was also made apparent that education and work situation wereimportant factors influencing the respondent’s motivation.

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