HRMG 3101 Rethinking Organisations
“Psychological Contract” Influences upon peoples attitudes and behaviours within an organisation
Tutor: Mairi Watson
Word Count: 2850
Date: 13th March 2009
Q. It may be argued that the Psychological Contract has always had and always will have a major influence upon people attitudes and behaviours within an organisation.
Critically discuss this statement and evaluate the role HR may play in developing and maintaining a healthy psychological contract among employees.
Whilst we have seen research in the psychological contract become more ubiquitous over the past few decades, it still relates back to the work of Argyris (1962), who clearly stated that psychological contract is a thing of a past. Levinson (1962) also had clear views with regards to psychological contract. He believed that the contract was “unwritten” set of agreements in working environment, and it was a set summarised work expectations. Millmore et al (2007) defined psychological contract as “The expectations of the employee and employers that operate in addition to the formal contract of employment”. These set of definitions remained very problematic and constantly raised several revision issues. It wasn’t until 1990 when Rousseau emerged and completely changed the concept of psychological contract. The definition was the most accepted definition due to her effort of removing the issue of levels allied within an accord reached between a business and an individual by defining the contract as “a belief of mutual obligations” in the relations between employee and organisation. The psychological contract is more consisted at the reality of a specific situation alleged by individuals, and in many cases it proves to be more effective than the formal contract in terms of employee behaviour and progression. It is the psychological contract that reflects employee behaviour within an...