New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 13: Effects of the recession on psychological contracts between employers and employees
As a phenomenon of interest, and as a framework for understanding and managing the employment relationship, the psychological work contract, which in the view of the employee encapsulates the mutual obligations and expectations existing between the individual and the organization, has attracted the attention of both researchers and practitioners for decades. Agyris (1960) is credited with first introducing the term when describing leadership behaviour in an organization within which he was conducting research. In describing the content of the psychological contract he suggested that the employee’s obligations include the maintenance of high levels of production with low grievances, while the organization’s obligations include allowing the employees to get on with the job with minimal interference, and providing adequate wages and job security. The definition of the contract has evolved over time, with renewed interest in the content of the contract, and the implications of breach or violation of the contract, being led in part by Rousseau (1989).
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