New types of employment, new ways to be uncivil? A thematic analysis of temporary agency workers’ exposure to workplace incivility

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of the study was to explore what types of incivility temporary agency workers might experience or witness. A total of 162 temporary agency workers (97 women and 65 men) from three
unions and three temporary work agencies completed an online questionnaire. The questionnaire
consisted of a one-item question, with an open-ended response format, regarding what types of
incivility temporary agency workers might experience or witness in the workplace. The participants were employed in the sectors of healthcare, education, transportation, IT, retail and whitecollar service work. Overall, thematic analysis resulted in the identification of six themes: 1) exclusion from the collegiality, 2) with-holding information and resources, 3) acting condescendingly and using insulting remarks, 4) questioning competence and making higher demands, 5)
threatening job security and using abusive terms of employment, and 6) showing more severe
negative workplace behaviors. The results show that there are types of uncivil behaviors that are
not fully captured by the most frequent used measures of today. Exclusion from the collegiality
and not being respected for their competence, and condescending behavior were uncivil behaviors typically associated with temporary agency work. The study has implications for the future
development of methods for studying incivility and negative workplace behaviors among temporary agency workers.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)


  • Workplace Incivility, Temporary Agency Work, Contingent Work, Negative Workplace Behavior
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-84
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch

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