The Psychological Contract
- What is the psychological contract?
- How do the psychological contracts of professional workers change over time?
- Do professional workers feel more committed to their profession or to their employing organization?
- Can psychological contracts be 'managed'?
The book seeks to make sense of the organizational experiences of the professional worker by drawing on several areas of research, including the psychological contract, social identity theory, theories of career development and retention. The author uses real-life examples and short case studies to situate psychological theory within organizations.
Beginning with an introduction of the history and concept of the psychological contract, the book provides an overview of the major areas of research. However it goes beyond a simple description to focus on the careers of professional workers, from factors influencing the entrance into a profession, to the process of developing professional identities and career progression.
The developing professional career may involve a progression to managerial responsibilities which can lead to organizational conflict. The book offers insights into the influence of the psychological contract when it comes to critical career decisions, including a discussion of the consequences of psychological contract violation. Finally the role of HR is examined with reference to the 'management' of the psychological contract and the retention of key professional workers within organizations.
The book is key reading for all psychology students, especially those specializing in occupational, organizational, work and business psychology. It will also be of interest to HR students and HR professionals, business students and health professionals.
Professional careers in the UK
Contract formation and development: Early socialization
Transitions: From education to professional employment
From professional employment to the mature career
The psychological contract and critical career decisions
Managing the psychological contract
The future of the psychological contract and psychological contracts of the future