Is the psychological contract worth taking seriously.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Multiple Professors

Is the psychological contract worth taking seriouslyAlthough the psychological contract has become the focus for a body of research it retains a number of conceptual and empirical problems and challenges This paper reviews some of the main problems associated with the construct and with the way in which it has been studied It also considers critically the problem of the psychological contract namely that organizations are either no longer able to promise the traditional organizational career and job security or they violate their promises and suggests that the novelty of this problem has been overstated Finally it sets out a case for retainingthe psychological contract as a focus for policy and research and presents an embryonic theory built around the causes content and consequences of the psychological contract which implies a rather dierent research agenda to that which has dominated the debates so farWhat is the psychological contracta set of unwritten reciprocal expectations between an individual employee and the organizationmany different dimensionsWho has a psychological contract and when does it develop Arnold 1996 raises the question of whether everyone in employment has a psychological contract As we know all employment contracts have gaps in them The socialization process for any newcomer to the organization and the social information processing that occurs results in assumptions about appropriate behaviour and expectations about the consequences of conforming or transgressing which go beyond the content of the formal employment contract Is this a psychological contract And if so does it embrace any perceptions and beliefs drawn from the informal social system and interaction between the employee and anyone in a position of authority If so it is surely too broad to be useful To return to Arnolds point must there be an aware
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