Abstract for: The Use of Temporary Workers as a Response to Work Pressure in Service Operations

This paper examines the effects of organizational responses to work pressure when capacity is managed through an active and aggressive use of temporary employment. The article uses System Dynamics to uncover the organizational structure associated to dealing with work pressure in a company that has temporary workers. The paper describes policies for matching supply with demand in a service system that has temporary employees, reports the elicitation process for discovering system structure, shows the feedback loops associated to responses to work pressure using temporary workers to adjust capacity, and uses a System Dynamics model to understand the organizational effects of temporary worker usage in the organization. Results suggest that companies may be myopically responding to short term gains associated to “temping,” foregoing the larger long-term benefits provided by a more stable workforce.