Vol. 39. Num. 1. April 2023. Pages 23 - 36

How Temporary/Permanent Employment Status and Mindfulness Redraw Employee Organizational Citizenship Responses to Person-Organization Fit

[Cómo redibujan el estatus de empleo temporal/permanente y el mindfulness las respuestas de ciudadanía organizacional de los empleados al ajuste personaorganización]

Pablo Ruiz-Palomino1, Pablo Zoghbi-Manrique-de-Lara2, and Graça Miranda Silva3

1University of Castilla-La Mancha, Cuenca, Spain; 2University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, The Canary Islands, Spain; 3University of Lisbon (ISEG), Lisbon, Portugal

Received 3 October 2021, Accepted 28 March 2023


This paper analyzes the role of temporary/permanent employment in the way employees respond to person-organization fit (P-O Fit) with organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs), and whether mindfulness redraws this relationship. Compared to permanent employees, temporary employees may have fewer future prospects in their organization, thus leading them to engage less in this type of behavior, the potential returns of which are typically unspecified in time and are likely beyond their temporary reach. However, the self-regulatory, present-moment awareness and non-judgmental acceptance functions of mindfulness could reverse this relationship. Structural equation modeling using data from 280 employees of 10 Spanish hotels revealed that temporary (permanent) employees reacted to P-O Fit with lower (higher) OCBs, unless they were mindful, in which case their OCBs increased (decreased). The findings show that employment status and mindfulness redraw the P-O Fit - OCB relationship and that mindfulness makes temporary (permanent) employees respond to P-O Fit with increased (decreased) OCBs.


Este trabajo analiza el papel del estatus laboral temporal/permanente en la forma en que los empleados responden al ajuste persona-organización con comportamientos de ciudadanía organizacional, y si el mindfulness redibuja esta relación. En comparación con los empleados fijos, los temporales pueden tener menos perspectivas de futuro en su organización, lo que les lleva a participar menos en este tipo de comportamientos, cuyos rendimientos potenciales suelen ser indeterminados en el tiempo y probablemente están fuera de su alcance temporal. Sin embargo, las funciones de autorregulación, conciencia del momento presente y aceptación sin prejuicios del mindfulness podrían invertir esta relación. La modelización de ecuaciones estructurales con datos de 280 empleados de 10 hoteles españoles reveló que los empleados temporales (fijos) reaccionaban al ajuste persona-organización con un menor (mayor) comportamiento de ciudadanía organizacional, a menos que tuvieran mindfulness, en cuyo caso su comportamiento de ciudadanía organizacional aumentaba (disminuía). Los resultados muestran que el estatus laboral y el mindfulness redibujan la relación entre ajuste persona-organización y comportamiento de ciudadanía organizacional y que el mindfulness hace que los empleados temporales (fijos) respondan a dicho ajuste con un mayor (menor) nivel de comportamiento de ciudadanía organizacional.

Palabras clave

Mindfulness, Ajuste persona-organización, Empleo temporal, Empleo permanente, Comportamiento de ciudadanía organizacional


Mindfulness, Person-organization fit, Temporary employment, Permanent employment, Organizational citizenship behavior

Cite this article as: Ruiz-Palomino, P., Zoghbi-Manrique-de-Lara, P., and Silva, G. M. (2023). How Temporary/Permanent Employment Status and Mindfulness Redraw Employee Organizational Citizenship Responses to Person-Organization Fit. Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 39(1), 23 - 36. Correpondence: (P. Ruiz-Palomino).


Organizational settings include many factors that may influence employees’ decisions to engage in supererogatory behaviors, which, like organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs), exceed moral minimums. Employees’ perceptions of person-organization fit (P-O Fit) have long been considered a positive influence on OCBs (Kristof, 1996; Kristof-Brown et al., 2017), as supported by the social exchange theory (SET; Blau, 1964). According to this theory, the employee and organization are two parties involved in an exchange in which they interact based on the dynamics of reciprocity. Thus, when employees perceive the values of the organization and its members match their own, they are likely to feel that the organizational practices and policies are positive and supportive and that they are therefore obligated to reciprocate with positive behaviors such as OCBs (Kim et al., 2013). Highly valued by managers, OCB refers to “individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system that, in the aggregate, promotes the effective functioning of the organization” (Organ, 1988, p. 4) and that can be directed towards the organization as a whole (OCBO, e.g., defense of the firm when others criticize it), or towards peers (OCBI, e.g., assisting peers in their tasks; Williams & Anderson, 1991).

The above-described P-O Fit - OCB link is a pervasive guiding framework for organizations (Farzaneh et al., 2014; Kristof-Brown et al., 2017), yet existing advances on the boundaries of this relationship are practically non-existent (see Kim et al., 2013; Resick et al., 2007). SET initially predicts that P-O Fit should lead employees to initiate a social exchange with their organization and to feel obligated to reciprocate with behaviors that benefit it (Kim et al., 2013). However, this framework also argues that this is only possible if employees also see they have time to reap the benefits for such actions and if these benefits are higher than the costs incurred in this exchange relationship (Blau, 1964). As such, the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship may vary according to job or organization-related variables that limit or broaden employees’ time perspective regarding their continuity in the organization, with one of these variables being the employment status of employees, namely whether it is temporary or permanent.

Relying on temporary employees is a common strategy today to achieve flexibility and cost savings (de Jong & Schalk, 2010; McDonald & Makin, 2000; Moorman & Harland, 2002). However, a frequent inherent characteristic of temporary status that may explain why temporary employees may be more reluctant to participate in OCBs than permanent employees (McDonald & Makin, 2000; Moorman & Harland, 2002) is their particular time perspective, defined as individuals’ perception and use of their remaining time in life. Adapted to the organizational context, it refers to employees’ perception of the remaining time and opportunities in their careers within their organization (cf. Wei, 2012; Zacher & Frese, 2009) and of how that time can be used, either with a present perspective (seeking out immediate interests; Henry et al., 2017; Li et al., 2018; Wei, 2012) or a future perspective (focusing on long-term goals and gratifications; J. Qian et al., 2015). Thus, because temporary employees seem to have a lower future time perspective than their permanent peers (Li et al., 2018), and may therefore have a shorter future horizon in the organization, they are likely to perceive the benefits of engaging in OCBs as beyond their temporal reach (Wei, 2012), which, following SET, would discourage them from engaging in OCBO-I. SET posits that the decision to enter into an exchange relationship is based on rationality principles of maximizing rewards (and/or minimizing costs) and depends on the probability of receiving rewards from such a decision (Blau, 1964). Thus, temporary employees (relative to permanent employees) are likely not to enter into such a relationship and are therefore unlikely to engage in OCBO-I in response to P-O Fit. The first research question of this study is therefore as follows: does the employment status (temporary/permanent) redraw the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship?

SET is undeniably the traditional basis for understanding OCB and the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship, yet recent research has introduced the notion that other frameworks could complement SET to predict positive job outcomes (Birtch et al., 2015; Lester et al., 2008; Ren et al., 2022). The social cognitive theory (SCT; Bandura, 1991, 2001) might be one of these frameworks, in the wake of Lester et al.’s (2008) findings that reveal the power of some cognitive-psychological factors (i.e., other orientation) to modulate the extent to which human behavior in an exchange relationship is governed by expected reciprocity. SCT argues that one can exert intentional influence over one’s own behavior and environmental events (Bandura, 1991, 2001), from which it follows that some person-related aspects could enable people to control emotions and thoughts to ultimately self-govern their behavior. One of these factors might be trait mindfulness, which, in contrast to state mindfulness (a temporary state one reaches after having participated in mindfulness training; Lau et al., 2006), represents a stable predisposition to being mindful (Baer et al., 2006), is of a more permanent nature, and is likely to have stronger implications in accounting for behaviors in the workplace (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2017).

Mindfulness, is a personal resource that helps individuals to self-regulate their negative emotions as a trait in a more positive direction, involving a less automatic but more of a thought-action repertoire that leads to less detrimental response patterns (Malinowski & Lim, 2015). Importantly, this trait gives individuals the predisposition to being “attentively present to what is happening in the here and now” (Herndon, 2008, p. 32) by “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, 2005, p. 4). As such, we first suggest that “mindful” temporary employees, despite seeing their future in the organization as limited and therefore despite seeing they are unlikely to reap the benefits of exchanging OCBs for P-O Fit, may increase their OCBs. These employees will be more aware of their surroundings, more attentive to others’ need for help and more non-judgmentally accepting of their temporary status, which should enhance their well-being and store of person-and-job resources (i.e., empathy; Birnie et al., 2010; Martín-Hernández et al., 2020), thus enabling them to “look beyond their self-interest” and respond to P-O Fit more altruistically. In contrast, the “full attention to the present” (Thondup, 1996, p. 48) and self-regulatory function (Malinowski & Lim, 2015) of trait mindfulness may lead permanent employees to focus more on obtaining gratifications in the present and have a less marked future time perspective (Wei, 2012; Zacher & Frese, 2009). This, in turn, should reduce their willingness to perform OCBO-I in response to P-O Fit, as the returns of such behavior(s) are unspecified in time (Blau, 1964). Thus, another research question of this study is as follows: can the respectively weakening and strengthening roles of temporary and permanent status in the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship be modified by trait mindfulness?

In summary, we aim to provide a fine-grained understanding of the boundary conditions of the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship, to which end this paper first draws on SET a) to confirm the positive link between P-O Fit and OCBO and OCBI, and b) to test whether the temporary or permanent employment status weakens or strengthen this relationship, respectively. Additionally, as a novel contribution, we aim to shed further light on the SET mechanisms underlying the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship by integrating SET and SCT to analyze c) whether trait mindfulness moderates the P-O Fit - OCB relationship in such a way that it is amplified for temporary but not for permanent employees (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Hypothesized Model.

Literature Review and Hypotheses

Relationship between P-O Fit and OCB

The fundamental idea of person-environment (P-E) fit, with P-O Fit as the most widely investigated type of fit (Edwards, 1991; Hoffman & Woehr, 2006), is that employees are better suited for certain work environments than others, and that individuals who better fit their work environment are generally more successful and experience a higher level of well-being compared to those who do not match their work context (Kristof-Brown et al., 2017). Often operationalized as value congruence, P-O Fit specifically refers to a perception of employees sharing “similar” or “congruent” values to the organization (Kristof, 1996), leading them to have positive experiences and a sense of well-being, which may ultimately lead to employees helping the organization either directly (OCBOs) or through helping its members (OCBIs) (Kristof, 1996).

The P-O Fit - OCB relationship has been widely supported by extensive previous research, and there is a broad consensus that it is well explained by SET (Blau, 1964). As discussed earlier, this theory proposes that actors in a social exchange follow a “quid pro quo logic” through which they reciprocate with positive behaviors to the other party of the relationship (including the organization as a whole). Thus, in line with this theory, employees in a social exchange relationship are likely to perceive that P-O Fit provides them with benefits (Schneider, 2001) and, hence, they are likely to exchange OCBs for P-O Fit perceptions. In a recent review, Kristof-Brown et al. (2017) certainly found that, primarily, the P-O Fit - OCBI relationship, but also that of P-O Fit - OCBO, is robust in the literature, and that both relationships are explained by SET (Blau, 1964). Drawing on the above evidence, employees who fit their work environment will help the organization more by engaging in more OCBOs and OCBIs than those who are mismatched. Thus,

H1ab: P-O fit is positively related to (a) OCBO and (b) OCBI.

Moderating Role of Temporary/Permanent Employment Status

Temporary employment is a status assigned to certain employees in organizations when they are hired on a “short-term, more contractually defined basis” (Moorman & Harland, 2002, p. 174) and for a fixed duration (de Jong & Schalk, 2010). Under this status, employees do not expect long-term relationships with their organization (Van Dyne & Ang, 1998), but are in a situation that threatens their well-being, which seems to match the main characteristics typically used to describe a disaster. Indeed, in a similar manner to natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods, anthropogenic threats derived from human activity, such as industrial or labor conditions, are hazardous to health and well-being (Preston, 2012). Therefore, having a temporary employment status may be perceived as a disaster because this situation may entail the anthropogenic threat of being suddenly laid-off, with all that this entails in terms of financial hardship and serious setbacks for the person in question and their household.

Under such a specific personal disaster situation, employees are more likely to pursue self-interest or immediate rewards (Hommelhoff et al., 2018; Li et al., 2018; Nowak & Sigmund, 2005) as well as to have a present, rather than future, time perspective regarding their tenure in the organization (cf. Hommelhoff et al., 2018; Li et al., 2018; Wei, 2012). This should lead such individuals to worry more about the immediate interests and present outcomes (Li et al., 2018) than about the future returns derived from the actions they execute in their organization (cf. Hommelhoff et al., 2018; Li et al., 2018; J. Qian et al., 2015; Wei, 2012). This, in turn, is likely to reduce their willingness to perform OCBs. Indeed, from a SET perspective (Blau, 1964), an individual’s rationality will lead them to engage in behaviors that result in rewards or gains that are also more numerous than their costs. As such, given that the social exchanges involved in OCBs are relationships based on unspecified benefits to be received over an unspecified (typically long-term) time frame (Colquitt et al., 2014), temporary employees are likely to engage less frequently in OCBs in response to P-O Fit compared to permanent employees (Kristof, 1996; Kristof-Brown et al., 2017). In effect, Dennis Organ, who coined the term OCB, stressed the time sensitivity of OCB when he noted that only across time and persons do “OCBs contribute to organizational effectiveness [and] this latter requirement was one that […] would ultimately have to be an exercise in faith” (Organ, 1997, p. 87). As a result, it is unsurprising that temporary employees, who may see the perceptions of their future in the organization as limited (Hommelhoff et al., 2018; Li et al., 2018), and may live within a situation of personal disaster that makes them act rationally and in a way that suits their best interest only (Helsloot & Ruitenberg, 2004), feel that their temporary employment status prevents them from “being in time” to maintain or reap new benefits of P-O Fit - OCB exchanges (Wei, 2012). Thus, given that one important tenet of SET is that individuals will not engage in a social exchange relationship if the probability of receiving rewards is low or inexistent (Blau, 1964), temporary employees will be less likely to engage in OCBO-I in response to P-O Fit. In contrast, given that permanent employees expect to stay in their organization over a longer period (Li et al., 2018), they are more likely than temporary staff to engage in OCBO-I. They may have a stronger future time perspective (Wei, 2012; Zacher & Frese, 2009) and a stronger focus on obtaining future-oriented outcomes (Li et al., 2018), which would likely enhance their interest in striving to engage in OCBO-I, as these efforts are more likely to be realized in time for them to be rewarded in the future (Wei, 2012). Permanent employees are indeed more likely to expect long-term returns from others (including the organization itself) for their behavior and are likely to expect to be fairly reciprocated in the long run for their OCBs. Therefore,

H2ab: For permanent employees, the relationships between P-O Fit and (a) OCBO and (b) OCBI are strengthened.

H3ab: For temporary employees, the relationships between P-O Fit and (a) OCBO and (b) OCBI are weakened.

Interacting Effect of Mindfulness with Temporary/permanent Employment Status

As hypothesized earlier, OCB may differ between temporary and permanent employees, such that this extra-role job performance may be higher among the latter. However, previous evidence has revealed that certain person-related aspects (e.g., a positive view of one’s psychological contract with the organization) may lead temporary employees to perform enhanced levels of OCB compared to their permanent counterparts (Moorman & Harland, 2002; Van Dyne & Ang, 1998), and that some traits (i.e., agreeableness) may lead employees not to be swayed by the immediate sensations of the moment or the current situation (Ilies et al., 2006). In line with such evidence, and based on the postulates of SCT regarding an individual’s ability to exert, through their actions, intentional influence over their own functioning and the course of events (Bandura, 1991, 2001) and that human behavior can be “regulated by the ongoing exercise of self-influence” (Bandura, 1991, p. 248), we believe that certain person-related aspects, especially those that induce emotional and behavioral self-regulation, may play a role in the way that a permanent or a temporary status makes employees respond to P-O Fit with OCBs. Trait mindfulness, a trait that gives people the ability to cognitively control their emotional reactivity to ultimately facilitate self-directed change (Feltman et al., 2009; Glomb et al., 2011), could therefore be this person-related factor (see Martín-Hernández et al., 2020). Defined as a permanent or stable predisposition (Baer et al., 2006) that may vary from person to person (Brown & Ryan, 2003), trait mindfulness is a personal, psychological resource that leads people to pay and maintain full attention to present-moment experiences (in the here and now) (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Herndon, 2008; Thondup, 1996) in an open and non-judgmental manner (Pommier et al., 2020). Additionally, individuals in possession of mindfulness have the ability to use emotional regulation in their day-to-day routines (Malinowski & Lim, 2015; Martín-Hernández et al., 2020). This trait is associated with careful regulation of one’s thoughts and behaviors (Masicampo & Baumeister, 2007) and with the ability to self-govern behavioral change (cf. Glomb et al., 2011; Hölzel et al., 2011; Short et al., 2016; Sutcliffe et al., 2016), such that people can become voluntary authors of their behavior, not actors running on autopilot and not unchangingly reacting to situations (Kang et al., 2013). As such, this is a trait that has the potential to interact with all the sensations that the temporary/permanent employment status may instill in employees (e.g., present or future time perspective, cost-benefit analysis of behaviors to be performed, etc.), to explain the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship and that may redraw these relationships by increasing (attenuating) the expected level of OCBs in response to P-O Fit, among temporary (permanent) employees.

Indeed, we firstly believe that trait mindfulness could positively moderate the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship among temporary employees. As explained, the negative emotions temporary employees may have (e.g., inferior status to that of permanent employees) due to their precarious employment status (cf. de Jong et al., 2019; Moorman & Harland, 2002), as well as their present time perspective regarding their linkage with the organization (Li et al., 2018; Hommelhoff et al., 2018), would likely limit their engagement in OCBs, a type of behavior that, according to SET (Blau, 1964), individuals perform in the expectation of subsequent returns and that temporary employees may not be “in time” to reap (Wei, 2012). However, by having strong trait mindfulness, these employees may self-regulate their emotions and behaviors, a three-step process consisting of self-monitoring (observance of one’s behaviors and emotions), self-judgment (evaluation of these emotions and behaviors to see how to improve) and self-response (having the strength to move on). This, in turn, should enable them to exercise some control over their thoughts, feelings, motivation, and actions (Bandura, 1991). Specifically, the high levels of “present-moment awareness” and “non-judgmental acceptance” involved in trait mindfulness (Kabat-Zinn, 2005) might help temporary employees to self-regulate their negative emotions and states, and thus lead them to respond to P-O Fit with enhanced OCBO-I. For example, “a high level of attention to the current internal and external stimuli of the present moment” (Lan & Wang, 2022; Quaglia et al., 2015) could help temporary employees to reduce the probabilities of the cost-benefit and present-time perspectives potentially nurturing the rational mind schemas of temporary employees. The “attentional characteristic of awareness” of what is occurring in the present moment and of observing and describing self-emotions would help these employees to better understand the feelings of others and be more empathetic to others’ needs (De la Fuente-Anuncibay et al., 2020), which is critical in driving the enhancement of OCBs (Elche et al., 2020). Likewise, the “non-judgmental acceptance of inner experiences” could help temporary employees better accept their uncertain future in the organization, such that the likely anxiety induced by such a situation could be reduced and their psychological well-being improved (Barcaccia et al., 2019); the latter is critical for the emergence of OCB-based social exchanges (Lawler, 2001).

Secondly, we also believe that for permanent employees, trait mindfulness may somewhat negatively moderate the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship. Compared with temporary employees, we know that permanent employees have a longer future horizon (future time perspective) within their organization (Hommelhoff et al., 2018; Li et al., 2018), which leads them to perceive the benefits of engaging in OCBO-I as within their temporal reach (Wei, 2012), and therefore favors their engagement in OCBO-I in response to P-O fit. However, the “present-moment attention and awareness” dimension(s) of trait mindfulness could make these employees focus more on what occurs in the present (Martín-Hernández et al., 2020) without worries about the future (Thondup, 1996, p. 48). Hence, the unspecified, future benefits derived from the potential gains of an OCB-based social exchange relationship (Blau, 1964) could be seen as less attractive and the self-regulatory function of trait mindfulness (Hölzel et al., 2011; Keng et al., 2011) could even lead permanent employees to take a step forward and self-regulate their behavior to ultimately engage less in OCBO-I. Indeed, as SET argues (Blau, 1964), for employees to be engaged in social exchange relationships, reciprocity is a must and the costs incurred must be fewer than the gains received. However, the time frame of the benefits to be received in exchange for OCBs is unspecified (Blau, 1964; Colquitt et al., 2014) and trait mindfulness would act as a self-regulatory mechanism by which permanent employees could see the costs incurred in the present (time, energy, efforts) as greater than the benefits obtained, thus leading them to decrease their engagement in OCBO-I. Consequently, “present-moment attention and awareness” (Kalafatolu & Turgut, 2018; Martín-Hernández et al., 2020) and the “self-regulatory function” of trait mindfulness could counteract the strong future time perspective of permanent employees (remaining time and opportunities in the organization) to ultimately reduce their OCBO-I engagement in the present moment.

Overall, the “self-regulatory” and “present-moment awareness” functions of trait mindfulness may lead temporary employees, who are at present experiencing mishaps due to their concern about the uncertainty of their future in the organization, to better describe self-emotions and empathize with problems of peers or the organization, which is critical to enhancing their OCBO-I engagement (Berry et al., 2018). Additionally, the “self-regulatory and nonjudgmental acceptance” functions of trait mindfulness may help temporary employees to feel better regarding their temporary situation at work and elevate their repertoire of positive emotions (Brown & Ryan, 2003), which should ultimately enhance their OCBO-I performance (Gil-Beltrán et al., 2020; Lawler, 2001). On the other hand, trait mindfulness would act as a buffer of the OCBO-I engagement of permanent employees. Its “self-regulatory and present-moment awareness” functions would lead these employees to be more reluctant to engage in the efforts made in the present (costs) in exchange for the benefits to be received for their OCBO-I at an unspecified future time, such that a lower engagement in OCBO-I at present is likely to result. Thus,

H4ab: Mindfulness moderates the positive relationships between P-O Fit and (a) OCBO and (b) OCBI, with such relationships being amplified for temporary employees and weakened for permanent employees.



The target population consisted of 8,850 hotel employees working in Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands (Spain), a tourist destination with 75 hotels, three of which are international chains. Convenience sampling with inclusion criteria was used because the management of hotels in Gran Canaria are somewhat reticent to participate in random sampling processes. After obtaining official permission from hotel managers, eight research assistants were instructed to choose respondents from 5-star to 2-star hotels who met dwwifferent criteria (more than 6 months working in the hotel, peer-to-peer interaction job positions, working in different departments), thus reducing selection bias. A pen-and-paper survey developed in English was translated and administered in Spanish, after applying Brislin’s (1980) back-translation method. Using Brislin’s back-translation method meant that the scales were first translated by a bilingual professional (native speaker of Spanish) from English into Spanish and then were translated back into English by a different bilingual professional (native speaker of English). Both professionals had broad experience in scale adaptation and in-depth knowledge of the target culture. Since no dissimilarities were found between the two corresponding translations from and to English, this method ensured semantic equivalence between the scale translated into Spanish and the scale originally written in English. As a way to confirm the accuracy of the translations for the specific cultural context of Spain, the questionnaire was then pilot-tested with a group of four experts in management and organizational psychology (two of whom had a degree in English-Spanish translation), who analyzed the translation and verified that the items maintained the original meaning of the original version. These experts also concluded after their analysis that the questionnaire items were all comprehensive, clear, readable, and suitable for the cultural context.

No incentives were offered for participating in the study. A total of 304 employees volunteered to complete the questionnaire (estimated sampling error of +/- 5.64%) during a break in their shift. This took an average of 35 minutes, yielding 280 valid responses (24 were rejected due to a large number of missing responses).


Data were obtained from 280 employees in 10 of the 75 hotels. The sample (N = 280) contained 46.8% male and 53.2% female employees, of whom 11.8% were aged 55 or above, and 32.6% were aged 35 or under. In addition, 64.6% had a stable, permanent contract, while the remainder (35.4%) had temporary contracts and 37.2% of the total sample were part-time employees, who typically work fewer hours than full-time employees. Moreover, 84.1% of the respondents were Spanish, and 61.7% were permanent residents of the Canary Islands. A total of 29.1% of the sampled employees had completed elementary school, while 18% were university graduates. The data were recruited from hotels of different categories: two 5-star hotels (23%, 65 employees), four 4-star hotels (49%, 137 employees), two 3-star hotels (15%, 42 employees), and two 2-star hotels (13%, 36 employees).


All measures used a seven-point Likert-type scale, ranging from 7 (strongly agree) to 1 (strongly disagree), except for mindfulness where 7 corresponded to describes me very well and 1 to does not describe me well, and OCBs, for which 7 corresponded to constantly and 1 to never. Table 2 lists all the items used in this research to measure the study variables.

P-O Fit

It was measured using the reliable and widely three-item scale proposed by Cable and Judge (1996). This scale directly measures respondents’ perceptions of their fit with their organization by asking them to indicate the extent to which they agree that their values match those of their organization and colleagues. An example item is “I feel my values ‘match’ or fit this organization and my current colleagues in this organization.” Cable and Judge (1996) demonstrated that the scale had good internal consistency (reliability index of .87), which extensive research has continued to confirm (see Cable & Judge, 1997; Greguras & Diefendorff, 2009; Jehanzeb & Mohanty, 2018; Ruiz-Palomino et al., 2013).


They were measured using Lee and Allen’s (2002) 18-item scale (eight items for each OCB dimension). Employees were asked to indicate “how often” they engaged in a series of citizenship behaviors directed toward the organization (OCBO) or toward peers (OCBI). Example items are “I take action to protect the organization from potential problems” (OCBO) and “I assist peers with their duties” (OCBI). Lee and Allen reported high reliabilities for the two eight-item scales (.88 for OCBO, .83 for OCBI) and these scales have been widely used in the literature, generally revealing very good psychometric properties (e.g., Elche et al., 2020; Kanat-Maymon et al., 2021).


It was assessed by adapting Neff’s (2003) self-focused four-item scale to reflect the extent to which mindfulness was a trait with which individuals responded to external unfavorable events. In particular, hotel employees were asked to indicate the extent to which four statements that reflected mindful behavior described them.

This widely used scale is part of Neff’s (2003) Self-Compassion instrument and has shown good internal consistency reliability both in its inception (reliability coefficient of .75; Neff, 2003) and subsequent research (Dreisoerner et al., 2021; Neff et al., 2019). The scale was suitable for this study because it measures the capacity of paying and maintaining attention to present-moment experiences in an open and non-judgmental manner (Pommier et al., 2020) while capturing individuals’ emotional regulation, that is, the extent to which one “holds painful thoughts and feelings in balanced awareness” (Neff, 2003, p. 224), without being absorbed by negative feelings. Measuring the self-regulation aspect of mindfulness is important in the context of this study because it is a critical rationale that we used to justify why mindfulness could make temporary and permanent employees perform higher or lower levels of OCBO-I, respectively.

As noted, the self-focus perspective of this scale was adapted in two of the items, such that the original mindfulness item “When I fail at something important to me, I try to keep things in perspective” was adapted to read “When something important to me fails, I try to keep things in perspective.” The adaptation of the remaining item followed a similar pattern in which the first part of the original item was the part adapted (“When I am feeling down” was adapted to “When others are feeling down”). While performing such adaptation, we ensured fulfillment of Schriesheim et al.’s (1993) suggestions regarding the scale’s content adequacy and Hinkin’s (1998) recommendations regarding item scaling, including the advice that there should be a minimum of four items.

Control Variables

In our statistical analysis, the control variables were gender (male = 1, female = 2), age (1 = up to 25 years, 2 = 25 to 40 years, 3 = 40 to 55 years, 4 = 55 to 70 years, 5 = 70 years and older), level of education (1 = elementary school, 2 = secondary education, 3 = high school, 4 = vocational training, 5 = intermediate university studies, and 6 = university senior) and the hotel’s number of stars. These variables were included because prior research suggests gender and age differences exist in the extent to which compassionate behaviors are performed (López et al., 2018) and that level of education and hotel’s number of stars correlate with P-O Fit and OCBs (Afsar & Badir, 2015). Thus, any of these controls had the potential to co-vary with the dependent variables of this study, namely OCBO and OCBI.

Statistical Analysis

Data were analyzed by means of structural equation modeling (SEM) and SPSS v.24. SEM was used because it has been suggested as an appropriate method to test mediation (James et al., 2006) as well as moderation (Qureshi & Compeau, 2009), making it suitable for the objectives of our study. Moreover, SEM has many advantages over ordinary least squares regression (Kaplan, 2000), the most important being that, unlike regression analysis, SEM analysis permits measurement error to be incorporated into the analysis and for all hypothesized relationships to be tested simultaneously (cf. Nunkoo & Ramkissoon, 2012). AMOS v.22 was applied to conduct confirmatory factor analysis, as well as to examine the goodness of fit of the measurement and the proposed structural research model. We used various fit indices, in line with previous recommendations (Kline, 2005), in accordance with well-established cut-off values (Hu & Bentler, 1999; Kline, 2005). Specifically, we used the χ2/df ratio (Cmin/df ratio in AMOS; χ2/df ≤ 3, Kline, 2005), the comparative fit index, (CFI ≥ .90; Kline, 2005), and the root mean square error of approximation and standardized root mean square residual (RMSEA ≤ .08, SRMR ≤ .08, Hu & Bentler, 1999).

With a sample size like that used in this study (N = 280) SEM analysis is recommended to achieve high statistical power (Kline, 2005). The power analysis developed with G*Power 3 (Faul et al., 2007) for regressions with three independent variables (i.e., P-O Fit, mindfulness, temporary/permanent employment) confirmed this point, in that our post-hoc calculations resulted in a power of 99.99%, thus indicating that the number of informants was sufficiently large to test our relationships and detect medium effect sizes (Cohen, 1988) without incurring Type II error. In turn, we can confirm that the path coefficients obtained differ from zero.


Descriptive Analysis and Measurement Model Assessment

Table 1 shows the descriptive analysis results as well as the inter-correlations between the study variables for the overall sample (N = 280) and for the permanent (n =181) and temporary (n = 99) sub-samples. This table shows that permanent and temporary employees reported similar mean values for P-O Fit, M(p) = 4.87 vs. M(t) = 5.13, OCBO, M(p) = 6.15 vs. M(t) = 6.17, and OCBI, M(p) = 6.04 vs. M(t) = 6.21). However, the inter-correlations between P-O Fit, trait mindfulness, and OCBs were markedly different depending on the employment status considered (temporary versus permanent), thus suggesting that the distinction between temporary and permanent employment status does affect “how” these variables perform together in the research model predicted in this study.

Table 1

Descriptive Statistics, Correlations, and Discriminant Validity (squared roots of the AVEs of the variables in the total sample in parentheses)

Note. N = size of samples; M = mean; SD = standard deviation; n.a. = not applicable due to the fact that correlations here involve variables from distinct subsamples – permanent employee sample (p) and temporary employee sample (t) – that were sectioned from the total sample and cannot therefore be calculated.

*p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001.

All the items were checked for skewness and kurtosis. Skewness values for all the items ranged between -2 and +2 (P-O Fit [-0.901, -0.705]; mindfulness [-0.738, -0.958]; OCBO [-1.857, -1.269]; OCBI [-1.942, -1.106]). Kurtosis values also ranged between -7 and +7 (P-O Fit [-0.290, 0.619]; mindfulness [.322, .967]; OCBO [1.345, 4.552]; OCBI [0.549, 4.462]). In line with previous recommendations, these values are acceptable to prove that the data does not greatly depart from normality (see Byrne, 2010; Hair et al., 2010). Importantly, our adapted scale of mindfulness fulfilled various of Hinkin’s (1998) recommendations for the adequate development of measures for use in research: factor loadings were above .40, the proportion of variance explained in the variable by each item was greater than 60%, and the inter-item associations were greater than .40.

AMOS 22 software was used to perform confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Table 2 presents the CFA results, where the modification index outputs identify the more strained parts of the CFA model. Thus, the residual correlations between the residual terms e4 and e5, e11 and e12, e16 and e17, and e17 and e18 were considered. The CFA on the remaining items (Cmin = 492.913, df = 267, p < .001; Cmin/df = 1.846; CFI = .928; SRMR = .0569; RMSEA = .054) showed a CFI (comparative fit index) above .90, but with SRMR (standardized root mean square residual) and RMSEA (root mean square error of approximation) slightly above .05. However, as Hu and Bentler (1999) suggest, an SRMR and an RMSEA between .05 and .08 in no way suggest an unacceptable fit, so the uniqueness of the four variables can be supported (Table 2). The uniqueness and validation of the factor structure of each of these variables in this study is in line with extensive previous research in which the instruments for OCBO, OCBI (Elche et al., 2020), trait mindfulness (Neff et al., 2019), and P-O Fit (Jehanzeb & Mohanty, 2018; Ruiz-Palomino et al., 2013) revealed their uniqueness against other multiple different factors.

Table 2 also shows the composite reliabilities, which are all well above the standard of .60 (Hair et al., 2010), varying from .901 to .807, and the omega coefficients, which range from .903 to .807, all above the recommended threshold of .70 (McDonald, 1999). To check whether our scales demonstrated convergent validity, we calculated the average variance extracted (AVE) values for all the constructs, and our analyses resulted in AVEs ranging from .501 to .759, all above .50, thus supporting convergent validity (Fornell & Larcker, 1981, see Table 2). To check for discriminant validity, we determined the square roots of the AVEs (shown in parentheses in Table 1) and checked that the corresponding correlations were lower (Fornell & Larcker, 1981). The criterion was met, and discriminant validity could be supported for all the measures in our research.

Table 2

Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), Discriminant Validity and Reliability (omega coefficients and composite reliabilities [CR] in parentheses)

Note. Five residual correlations between the residual terms (e4 and e5, e11 and e12, e16 and e17, and e17 and e18 errors) were included. AVE = average variance extracted; Cmin = 492.913; df = 267; Cmin/df = 1.846; CFI = .928; SRMR = .057; RMSEA = .054.

p < .001.

Checking for Common-method Variance

To estimate the extent to which the data would be influenced by common-method variance (CMV), we used proactive and reactive statistical techniques (Podsakoff et al., 2003). First, our survey assistants ensured respondents’ anonymity and privacy in order to reduce social desirability bias. Moreover, the P-O Fit and OCBO-I items were located in different parts of the survey. Regarding reactive statistical techniques, CMV was examined using the one-factor Harman test (Podsakoff & Organ, 1986): an exploratory factor analysis of the P-O Fit, OCBO, and OCBI items and the four indicators of mindfulness revealed that the first factor explained only 29% of the total variance. Moreover, we used SEM to control for the effect of a particular unmeasured latent CMV factor (Harman’s one-factor test; Podsakoff et al., 2003), where all the manifest indicators were loaded. We constrained all the regression weights to be equal. The restricted CFA factor model (Cmin = 439.012, df = 265, p < .001; CFI = .909; SRMR = .054; RMSEA = .051) was compared to the unrestricted CFA model (Cmin = 492.913, df = 267, p < .001; Cmin/df = 1.846; CFI = .928; SRMR = .0569; RMSEA = .054). The statistical results indicated that the change in fit, ΔCmind(2) = 53.893, p < .001, was significant, and it was hence necessary to further examine whether it would bias the estimates. We accordingly conducted the restricted CFA with the CFA Marker Technique (Williams et al., 2010) and fitted the third CFA model to control for CMV, using age as a marker variable (apathy variable) because it was unrelated to our study variables. The third model, regarded as the restricted CFA model (Cmin = 484.846, df = 263), was then compared with our first CFA model, regarded as unrestricted. Because the variation was non-significant, ΔCmind(2) = 8.321, p > .05, and the results remained significant after the marker variable was introduced, CMV did not appear to be a serious issue in our data. In addition, we employed CFAs to test the fit of a one-factor model (where all items were loaded into a single factor), a three-factor model (where OCBO and OCBI items were loaded into a single factor), and a five-factor model (with all the variables we used for our study modelled separately). The results showed that the fit of the five-factor solution (Cmin = 492.913, df = 267, p < .001; Cmin/df = 1.846; CFI = .928; SRMR = .0569; RMSEA = .054) was significantly better, ΔCmind(6) = 783.363, p < .001, than that of the one-factor model (Cmin = 1,276.276, df = 273, p < .001; CFI = .680; SRMR = .1241; RMSEA = .115) or the three-factor model, ΔCmind(4) = 170.237, p < .001, (Cmin = 663.150, df = 271, p < .001; CFI = .875; SRMR = .0741; RMSEA = .072), which confirmed our model under study as the best fitting option.

Hypothesis Testing

To examine the hypotheses, we first analyzed the SEM model shown in Figure 2, which displays the main effects of P-O Fit on OCBO and OCBI (Cmin = 674.880, df = 228, p < .001; Cmin/df = 2.960; CFI = .911; SRMR = .063; RMSEA = .070). Given that P-O Fit is positively and significantly related to OCBO (β = .367, p < .001) and OCBI (β = .292, p < .001), H1a and H1b are supported. The differences of these relationships across permanent and temporary employees (H2ab, H3ab) were also analyzed, using between-group SEM analysis (see Qureshi & Compeau, 2009), such that the SEM model (N = 280) in Figure 2 was rerun for both groups of employees, n = 181, permanent (p) versus n = 99, temporary (t).

Figure 2

Tested Main Effects Model.

Note. Cmin = 674.880; df = 228; Cmin/df = 2.960; CFI = .911; SRMR = .063; RMSEA = .070; Beta permanent = Bp (n = 181); Beta temporary = Bt (n = 99). p <.001.

The results shown in Figure 2 reflect the moderating effect of temporary/permanent employment status on the P-O Fit - OCB link and indicate that when the betas of the links from P-O Fit to OCBO and OCBI are recalculated for permanent and temporary employees, the P-O Fit - OCBO-I links are strengthened for permanent employees (p) (P-O Fit – OCBO, n = 181, β = .449, p < .001; P-O Fit – OCBI, n = 181, β = .322, p < .001), in support of H2ab, and is weakened for temporary employees (t) (P-O Fit – OCBO, n = 99, β = .261, p < .05; P-O Fit – OCBI, n = 99, β = .252, p < .05) in support of H3ab (see Figure 2). These results thus support H2ab and H3ab and confirm that the positive P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship is strengthened among permanent employees but is weakened among temporary employees, as we had predicted.

Finally, we inspected the moderating role of trait mindfulness in the interplay between P-O Fit and OCBO-I (Figure 3) for permanent and temporary employees (H4ab). Figure 3 shows this interaction modelled with OCBO-I items as latent factors (in ellipses) and the trait mindfulness and P-O Fit items averaged into single mean-centered observable variables (in rectangles). The different fit indices obtained for the model reveal that the model fit in Figure 3 is acceptable (Cmin = 569.772, df = 224, p < .001; Cmin/df = 2.929; CFI = .876; SRMR = .074; RMSEA = .051). As Figure 3 shows, the overall negative moderating effect of mindfulness on the P-O Fit - OCBO-I link (P-O Fit – OCBO, N = 280, β = -.198, p < .001; P-O Fit – OCBI, N = 280, β = = -.220, p < .001) was recalculated for permanent and temporary employees. The results show that the employment status of the employee creates a gap: temporary (t) mindful employees responded to P-O Fit with increased OCBOs (βt = .201, p < .05) and OCBIs (βt = .197, p < .05), whereas permanent (p) mindful employees responded to P-O Fit with fewer OCBOs (βp = -.255, p < .001) and OCBIs (βp = -302, p < .001). These findings lead us to accept H4a and H4b, in that they show that trait mindfulness moderates the positive relationship between P-O Fit and (a) OCBO and (b) OCBI, in such a way that trait mindfulness strengthens this relationship for temporary employees but weakens it for permanent staff.

Figure 3

Two-way and Three-way Interactions of Mindfulness and Temporary/Permanent Employment Status in the Relationship between P-O Fit and OCB.

Note. Cmin = 569.772; df = 224; Cmin/df = 2.929; CFI = .876; SRMR = .074; RMSEA = .051; Beta permanent = Bp (n = 181); Beta Temporary=Bt (n = 99). p < .001.


Temporary/permanent employment status and trait mindfulness are two time-related topics found to be involved in the emergence of organizational behavior exceeding moral minimums, that is, OCBs. When permanent/temporary employment status was examined in the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship, the results indicated that temporary employment status reduced the positive P-O Fit - OCB relationship, whereas the permanent status augmented it. By inserting mindfulness into the equation, mindfulness was, however, observed to weaken this relationship for permanent employees but markedly strengthened it for temporary staff. Thus, unlike permanent “mindful” staff, temporary “mindful” staff responded to perceived P-O Fit with increased OCBO-I, thus supporting our predictions. Overall, by addressing trait mindfulness and permanent/temporary employment status to investigate the boundary conditions of the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship, this study contributes to the literature in various ways.

Theoretical Implications

First, this study confirmed the postulates of SET (Blau, 1964), through which reciprocity is argued to be key in any social exchange relationship, and through which employees are expected to reciprocate with positive behaviors toward their organization or colleagues when they have been treated positively. Thus, this study confirmed that when employees perceive their values to fit those of their organizations (and therefore when they may think that the policies of these organizations that affect them are rooted in positive motives; Cable & DeRue, 2002), they reciprocate with enhanced OCBO-I, in line with SET.

Our second contribution is that the relationship between P-O Fit and employee OCBO-I can be contingent upon certain conditions, in line with previous literature that supports such a notion (see Kim et al., 2013; Resick et al., 2007). Two are the moderators tested in this study (i.e., temporary/permanent employment status, trait mindfulness) which revealed novel insights into how the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship truly works.

Regarding the findings using the first of these moderators (i.e., employment status), this study supports previous research (e.g., McDonald & Makin, 2000; Moorman & Harland, 2002), in that it finds that temporary employees are less likely to participate in OCBO-I than permanent employees. Importantly, our study also advances previous research (Wei, 2012) that only revealed the present-time perspective (more likely to be found among temporary employees; Li et al., 2018; Wei, 2012; Zacher & Frese, 2009) as a weakener in the P-O Fit - OCBO positive link, and failed to reveal that the present-time perspective can also weaken the P-O Fit - OCB-I link and that the future time perspective (likely associated with a permanent contract; Li et al., 2018; Wei, 2012; Zacher & Frese, 2009) can strengthen the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship. Finally, this study confirms the frameworks of SET (cost-benefit analysis, Blau, 1964) and present vs. future time perspectives (Gonzalez & Zimbardo, 1985; Wei, 2012; Zimbardo et al., 1997), which, in combination, predict that when temporary employees perceive a short future horizon in their organization, they are less likely to engage in OCBO-I, due to their perception that the rewards to be obtained for the OCBO-I are beyond their temporal reach.

With respect to the second of these moderators (i.e., trait mindfulness), this paper builds on previous literature that suggests that even temporary employees’ lower OCB response could be reversed under certain person-related factors (Moorman & Harland, 2002; X. Qian et al., 2018; Van Dyne & Ang, 1998). Moreover, this study makes important progress on better understanding the boundary conditions of the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship (see Kim et al., 2013; Resick et al., 2007), by shedding light on “how” trait mindfulness can interact with temporary/permanent employment status to ultimately shape the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship. Indeed, by relying on SCT (Bandura, 1991), which posits that human behavior is not only regulated by environmental forces but is also the outcome of a process of self-regulation in which certain person-related factors make a contribution, we found that under the presence of trait mindfulness, the positive links of P-O Fit - OCBO-I are amplified for temporary employees and weakened for permanent staff. This means that in conjunction with the particularities of each type of employment status, mindfulness may amplify or weaken the P-O Fit - OCBO-I relationship, which advances recent literature on the potential dark side of mindfulness (see Lyddy et al., 2021). In particular, our findings open a new line of research that suggests that the benefits that this trait (mindfulness) can bring to the workplace can be larger or simply turn into losses, depending on certain job or organization-related conditions (e.g., employment status).

For example, among temporary employees, the adoption of non-judgmental acceptance and attention to the present moment (Kabat-Zinn, 2005), as well as the self-regulatory function of mindfulness (Hölzel et al., 2011; Keng et al., 2011), were the elements that seemed to make these employees respond to P-O Fit with enhanced OCBO-I. Indeed, the attention to the present moment of mindful people would help employees who are already affected by mishaps (i.e., temporary employees) to bolster their levels of empathy toward others’ misfortunes, thus ultimately preventing them from self-interestedly looking only at their own disaster situation and leading them to act more altruistically. Moreover, the non-judgmental acceptance involved in mindfulness would elevate the low level of well-being of temporary employees – who a priori might perceive their temporary employment status as a misfortune – and would increase their psychological- and job-related resources (Simbula & Guglielmi, 2013) such as empathy (Gil-Beltrán et al., 2020), which are needed to display OCBs (Xu et al., 2019). In addition, the balanced self-awareness of negative emotions, which Neff’s (2003) instrument particularly captures, would lead temporary employees to self-regulate their negative emotions due to their temporary employment status. It would serve as a shield against the cost-benefit (Blau, 1964) and present-time perspective (Wei, 2012) approaches that typically nurture temporary employees’ mind schemas for that reason, and that limit their engagement in a type of behavior that, like OCBO-I, is not expected to provide them with immediate returns.

Instead, among permanent employees, it is likely that attention to the present moment and the self-regulatory function involved in trait mindfulness are the elements that made these permanent employees respond to P-O Fit with decreased OCBO-I. Indeed, according to SET, we know that for employees to participate in social exchange relationships, a balance between what is invested (by performing OCBO-I) and what is received must be perceived (Blau, 1964), hence having a strong future time perspective, as permanent employees typically do, may be of great help in leading employees to engage in such relationship, as employees may more easily see they will be in the organization long enough to receive gratifications that compensate for the OCB efforts made in the present time (Li et al., 2018; Wei, 2012; Zacher & Frese, 2009). However, as we found, trait mindfulness could help reduce their future time perspective, by leading them to have a stronger focus on the present moment-experiences (without concerns about the future, Thondup, 1996). This would therefore lead permanent employees to see that the costs incurred in the present are higher than the benefits to be gained in an unspecified time in the future, which, coupled with the self-regulatory function of mindfulness, would lead them to downwardly self-regulate their OCBO-I participation.

A final novel insight of this study is that the P-O Fit - OCB link seems to require social exchange theory (Blau, 1964) to acknowledge its limits to provide a justification for the moderating roles of employment status and mindfulness. In fact, the previous literature on the P-O Fit - OCB link indicates that this relationship seems to need further explanation than just the existence of simple social exchanges (Kristof-Brown et al., 2017). For example, the different ways people shape perceptions of fit and accordingly regulate subsequent OCBs are approaches that seem to have no comfortable place in SET (Blau, 1964). This is consistent with Rich et al. (2010), who suggested that among the mechanisms linking P-O Fit and supervisor-rated OCBs, there are likely unknown affective motives, among which could perhaps be an enhanced ethical perspective. Thus, the proven role of mindfulness and permanent/temporary employment status as moderators in the P-O Fit - OCB relationship suggests the existence of different mechanisms, such as rational, time perspective-related, self-regulatory, affective and ethical ones, with the potential to explain the P-O Fit - OCB link, and which could cancel each other out.

Practical Implications

There are various practical implications to be drawn from our findings. First of all, our results suggest that managers and, where appropriate, human resource (HR) managers, should opt for policies and practices oriented towards attracting and hiring candidates with similar values to those of the organizations, such that a type of behavior that goes beyond the formal employee-employer contract (OCBO-I) can be promoted. Importantly, our findings also suggest that these managers opt for permanent (rather than temporary) employment strategies when it comes to staffing their workforce, as it will be beneficial for promoting OCBO-I, a type of behavior that helps to enhance organizational effectiveness. In this sense, managers must be aware that the use of stable employment should not be replaced by temporary employment unless there is no other option for their organization’s survival.

It is important to note that our findings also lead to practical recommendations in those situations (e.g., sectoral crises, seasonal fluctuations in demand, etc.) in which managers must resort to shorter-term contracts. In this case, our findings facilitate the development of actionable knowledge that managers may use to enhance the OCBO-I of their temporary employees from perceiving P-O Fit. In fact, our findings help resolve the dilemma of how to hire temporary employees to gain more contractual flexibility to adapt to changing demands, without affecting their levels of engagement in OCBO-I (McDonald & Makin, 2000; Moorman & Harland, 2002) that are expected to emerge from perceiving P-O Fit. For example, given that among the reasons for such lower OCBO-I performance are lower expectations of continued employment, higher levels of job insecurity and uncertainty over their future in the organization, and their perception that permanent employees see them as individuals with an inferior status (de Jong et al., 2019; Moorman & Harland, 2002; J. Qian et al., 2018), HR managers should focus on designing policies and practices through which temporary employees can feel more certainty about their future in the organization, as well as receive more support from both their organization and colleagues.

One of these policies to be implemented could relate to launching initiatives and programs directed at training managers to be servant leaders in their teams. This type of leadership enhances the well-being among those least privileged in the organization (e.g., temporary employees), through its particular focus on prioritizing the fulfilment of their needs and personal growth and through building a positive internal climate that leverages a network of relationships through which employees can count on help, support, accompaniment, and safety (Ruiz-Palomino et al., 2022). Furthermore, another interesting policy could be the design of a work environment that is not tailored to people who have a permanent employment contract (e.g., break rooms with areas “self-assigned” by permanent employees, lockers only for permanent employees and not for temporary employees). Rather, efforts should be made to shape the work environment and climate so that temporary employees perceive a culture of inclusiveness and support from all, and towards all workers, and their feelings of certainty about their future in the organization can therefore be enhanced. For example, implementing skill training programs in which all employees can participate could help these employees feel that the management of the organization have longer-term plans for them. Additionally, installing snack and coffee stations could also give them the opportunity to relax while sharing ideas and thoughts with others, which should help them feel they are an important part of the functioning of the organization. Finally, another interesting policy could be the adoption of a series of procedures that enable managers or HR managers to hire temporary employees who are strongly mindful. As demonstrated in our research, managers should realize that trait mindfulness is an effective tool to cushion the negative effect of employee’s temporary employment status on their OCBO-I engagement. Thus, in the selection process of temporary employees, HR managers should identify the frequency with which the applicants practice (or have practiced during the last year) mindfulness meditation in their day-to-day life routine. Although the frequency of such a practice and/or training is likely to lead people to become more mindful (Bishop et al., 2004; Kiken et al., 2015), HR managers could also ensure that mindfulness is a trait in these applicants by asking applicants to respond to valid and reliable self-report survey instruments such as the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS; Brown & Ryan, 2003), the Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised (CAMS-R; Feldman et al., 2007) or the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (Baer et al., 2004). In so doing, HR managers could ensure that the employees temporarily hired in their organization have a personality trait (mindfulness) through which they are more likely to reach higher levels of empathy, accept their temporary status non-judgmentally, and reach more elevated levels of positive emotions and psychological flexibility, all of which should lead them to “look beyond their self-interest” and respond to P-O Fit with enhanced levels of OCBO-I.

Limitations and Future Research

We recognize that this study has some weaknesses. First, we used a cross-sectional method, thus raising concerns it might suffer from mono-method/source bias. Second, the generalizability of the findings could be limited due to the data collection method used (i.e., convenience sampling). Although various inclusion criteria were set to ensure the sample was collected in a consistent, reliable, uniform and objective manner, future research could utilize data triangulation (use of multiple sources of data such as interviews, focus groups and document reviews), so that more qualitative insights could be obtained. Third, we used Brislin’s (1980) back-translation process to translate the scales from English into Spanish, which is key to ensure validation of the translation to be used in other cultural contexts (Cha et al., 2007). However, despite having fulfilled various guidelines proposed by the highly recommended ITC benchmark for obtaining high-quality test adaptations (ITC, 2018) (e.g., professionals with sufficient knowledge of the language and culture involved with previous experience in test adaptations, experts who ensure the language used in the adaptation is natural and acceptable), further research should follow ITC guidelines more thoroughly and consistently.

Additionally, we tested our relationships in a specific business context, the hotel industry in a sun and beach tourist destination, which is highly seasonal, and where the use of temporary employment is highly normal and commonly accepted (González-Torres et al., 2021). Furthermore, our model was tested in Spain, a country with one of Europe’s highest temporary employment rates, in which a temporary employment status is structural and common (EURES, 2020). This could lead temporary employees to feel that their situation is unlikely to become permanent, thus reinforcing their feeling that they will not be in time to reap the benefits that come from participating in OCBO-I. To confirm the truthfulness and validity of our findings, our model could therefore be retested, studying whether permanent/temporary status and mindfulness continue to act as moderators in similar ways in other industries and cultural contexts.

Finally, various unanswered questions in this paper may serve as avenues for future research. In this regard, there is prior work supporting the moderation of ethical ideology in the effects of motivational activation on intention to help others (Hong et al., 2020). One future avenue to extend our model findings may thus be to investigate whether individual differences in OCB responses to perceived P-O Fit are also based on the ethical ideology (relativism or idealism) of employees. For example, because high idealism makes the individual more concerned about minimizing negative consequences and maximizing gain for others (Forsyth et al., 2008), idealism would be expected to help employees to respond to P-O Fit with enhanced OCBs. In addition, instead of OCBs, future research could model other types of helping behaviors that directly provide those that engage in such behaviors with positive emotions (e.g., kindness, compassionate behavior), such that different results than those obtained here might be revealed. Finally, although a likely higher empathy of mindful temporary employees toward others experiencing hardship could be a cause of these employees’ greater OCB response to P-O Fit perceptions, we did not analyze “which” recipients were most likely to receive this greater prosocial behavior. As Drury et al. (2016) found, the experience of a welfare-threatening personal disaster situation may foster willingness to help peers affected by that same or similar disasters. As such, it is likely that the greater OCB response of temporary mindful employees to P-O Fit found in this study was directed towards other agents experiencing similar difficult situations, whether they were temporary employees or organizations experiencing hardship. Thus, future research could control for the type of recipients of such OCBs (experiencing a similar difficult situation versus not experiencing a similar difficult situation), which would allow our findings to be better clarified.

Conflict of Interest

The authors of this article declare no conflict of interest.

Cite this article as: Ruiz-Palomino, P., Zoghbi-Manrique-de-Lara, P., & Miranda Silva, G. (2023). How temporary/permanent employment status and mindfulness redraw employee organizational citizenship responses to person-organization fit. Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 39(1), 23-36.

Funding: This publication is part of the PID2020-117398GB-I00 project funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033.


Cite this article as: Ruiz-Palomino, P., Zoghbi-Manrique-de-Lara, P., and Silva, G. M. (2023). How Temporary/Permanent Employment Status and Mindfulness Redraw Employee Organizational Citizenship Responses to Person-Organization Fit. Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 39(1), 23 - 36. Correpondence: (P. Ruiz-Palomino).

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