Integrated Insiders or Alienated Outsiders? How Strong Norms in Organizations Relate to Contractors' Cultural Integration
62 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 28, 2019
Despite evidence that contract workers are often tightly integrated into organizations' work routines and processes, researchers still do not understand when contractors might be more or less culturally integrated with their organizations. How do the prevailing cultural norms in organizations relate to contract workers' cultural integration? It is unclear whether strong norms are conducive to culturally integrating both regular employees and contractors, workers who may have different cultural preferences, and who differ in status as full versus provisional organizational members. Using data from an employer review website, we examine how norm strength in organizations relates to both contractors' and regular employees' cultural integration. While regular employees exhibit more integration in organizations with stronger norms, we find that norm strength is associated with less integration among contractors, specifically those doing more independent jobs. We also examine whether strong collaborative and strong hierarchical norms appear conducive to integrating contractors versus regular employees. The results have implications for the returns to contracting in organizations, and suggest that organizational cultures face trade-offs in integrating workers across different employment arrangements.
Keywords: contractors, nonstandard work, organizations, culture
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