Trust and Human Resource Management
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Trust and Human Resource Management

Edited by Rosalind H. Searle and Denise Skinner

An organization’s human resource management (HRM) policies and their implementation have long been claimed to influence trust within an organizational environment. However there has, until now, been a limited examination of the relationship between the two. In this unique book, the contributors explore the HRM cycle from entry to exit, and examine in detail the issue of trust and its links with HRM. Each chapter takes an aspect of HRM including; selection, performance management, careers and personal development, training, change management and exit, and offers a new understanding and insight into the role, importance and challenges to trust within these processes.
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Chapter 5: Human Resource Management, the Psychological Contract and Trust

David Guest and Michael Clinton


David Guest and Michael Clinton INTRODUCTION Although there are existing bodies of writing and research about the relation between human resource management (HRM) and trust, about HRM and the psychological contract, and about the psychological contract and trust, all three are rarely considered together. The aim of this chapter is to provide an integrative conceptual and empirical analysis. Since a distinctive focus of this chapter is on the psychological contract and its relation to HRM and to trust, we start by analysing the role and relevance of the psychological contract. We then consider the relationships between HRM and the psychological contract and between the psychological contract and trust. Based on propositions emerging from this analysis, we present the findings of a large-scale study that explores the associations between HRM, the psychological contract and trust. THE ROLE OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT The psychological contract has entered mainstream research in organizational behaviour and HRM. Its origins can be traced back half a century to the work of Argyris (1960) and Levinson et al. (1962) with subsequent contributions by Kotter (1973) and Schein (1980). However, its contemporary influence was given particular impetus by the work of Rousseau (1989, 1995) whose approach to the concept has shaped much of the subsequent research and thinking (Taylor and Tekleab, 2004; Conway and Briner, 2005). One of the initial challenges for both theory and research on the psychological contract is to arrive at an acceptable definition. Most of the early writers accepted that the psychological contract was...

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