ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (9): 1534-1550.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.01534

• Conceptual Framework • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The temporary knowledge workers’ autonomous motivation: Relationship-oriented human resource management construction and its mechanism

LIU Xiaolang1, LIU Shanshi2, ZHAO Yu3(), QIN Chuanyan2, LU Wenzhu2   

  1. 1School of Management, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China
    2School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China
    3Guangdong Songshan Vocational and Technical College, Shaoguan 511000, China
  • Received:2020-12-29 Published:2021-07-22
  • Contact: ZHAO Yu


The rapidly changing technology environment makes “talent sharing” as a key way to acquire the required skilled and knowledge workers for organizations. Research on human resources management in sharing economy is an emerging field. Enterprises are facing great challenges for management on temporary knowledge workers. Due to the externality of identity and the weak relationship base with co-workers, the basic needs of competence and relatedness of temporary knowledge worker' are hindered, resulting in insufficient autonomous motivation, which in turn affect performance. Specifically, the challenges faced by temporary knowledge workers management are: First, temporary knowledge workers lack relationships basis with other team members due to the externality of identities, which in turn limits their professional influence, then their autonomous motivation are insufficient and in the results of low quality cooperation; Second, the relatedness needs of employees are difficult to satisfy due to the periphery identity (compared to the core employees of the organization), which hinders the formation of autonomous motivation, and then affects the workplace experience and cooperation performance. These two major challenges focus on how to deal with the insufficient autonomous motivation of temporary knowledge workers.

In the literatures, professional influence of contract experts (DiBenigno, 2020) and the establishment of workplace identity of non-core employees (Bolinger et al., 2018) both depend on the workplace relationship building. Therefore, this paper from the perspective of motivation management, explores human resource management practices and its role in the mechanisms for temporary knowledge workers combined with relational coordination theory and self-determination theory. For temporary knowledge workers who are embedded in team work, the research explores the relationship-oriented human resource management constructs based on the relational coordination theory. The self-determination theory is used to explore how the relationship-oriented HRP improve performance of temporary knowledge employees. We verify the path from the source (relation-oriented HRP; high quality relationship), the formulation (satisfaction of competence need and relatedness need), and results autonomous motivation (knowledge sharing intention, knowledge sharing behaviors and job satisfaction). This research will: (1) exploring the composition of practices of relationship-oriented human resource management for temporary knowledge workers, by identifying the relationship-oriented human resource management practices and develop corresponding measurement tool; and (2) verifying the impact of relationship-oriented human resource management practices on performance. We will verify that the relationship-oriented human resource management practice influences the employees' autonomous motivation (satisfaction of competence needs and relatedness needs) by establishing high-quality role relationship, and then improve the cooperation attitude (willingness to share knowledge) and behaviors (knowledge sharing behavior).

Research on the content and utility of relationship-oriented HRP is helpful for a deeper understanding on the management of temporary knowledge worker and give implication for management practice in sharing economy. First of all, this research will promote the understanding of relationship-oriented human resource management under the background of “talent sharing” time. Secondly, we explored the effect of the relationship-oriented human resource management from the autonomous motivation perspective, which beyond the "resource path" and "exchange relationship" of relationship human resource management research in previous studies. Finally, the research brings the high-performance human resource management in a new context and give enlightenment for workplace diversity management.

Key words: the relationship-oriented HRP, high quality relationship, relational coordination, autonomous motivation, cooperation performance

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