Despite increasing research interest in the psychological contract, little is known about how employees’ contractual beliefs alter during major organizational changes. Using a sample of air traffic control workers who have been used to stable work roles over long periods, examines employees’ contractual responses to enforced job change. As job change approached, contractual acceptance or violation was engendered by sensemaking appraisals of management decisions, the meaning given to premove uncertainties, and perceptions of victimization. Following job change, sense‐making continued and eventually yielded either a calculative assessment of the employment relationship or feelings of sustained violation. While sustained violation was accompanied by visible expressions of resistance against management, such acts represented a desire to reinstate the established employment relationship. Conversely, workers who accommodated the personal outcomes of management breaches became less committed to a contractual relationship, and resolved to exploit management weaknesses and omissions. These divergencies reflected how the contractual meanings given to single breach events were kept separate from panoptic assessments of management’s entire body of behaviour during the reorganization.
Hallier, J. and James, P. (1997), "Management enforced job change and employee perceptions of the psychological contract", Employee Relations, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 222-247. https://doi.org/10.1108/01425459710176963Download as .RIS
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