Towards a new employment relationship model

Timothy Bond Baker (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia WINNERS‐AT‐WORK, Brisbane, Australia)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 8 May 2009



The purpose of this study is to examine and extend Noer's theoretical model of the new employment relationship.


Case study methodology is used to scrutinise the model. The results of a literature‐based survey on the elements underpinning the five values in the model are analysed from dual perspectives of individual and organization using a multi‐source assessment instrument. A schema is developed to guide and inform a series of focus group discussions from an analysis of the survey data. Using content analysis, the transcripts from the focus group discussions are evaluated using the model's values and their elements. The transcripts are also reviewed for implicit themes. The case studied is Flight Centre Limited, an Australian‐based international retail travel company.


Using this approach, some elements of the five values in Noer's model are identified as characteristic of the company's psychological contract. Specifically, to some extent, the model's values of flexible deployment, customer focus, performance focus, project‐based work, and human spirit and work can be applied in this case. A further analysis of the transcripts validates three additional values in the psychological contract literature: commitment; learning and development; and open information. As a result of the findings, Noer's model is extended to eight values.

Research limitations/implications

The study offers a research‐based model of the new employment relationship. Since generalisations from the case study findings cannot be applied directly to other settings, the opportunity to test this model in a variety of contexts is open to other researchers.


In practice, the methodology used is a unique process for benchmarking the psychological contract. The process may be applied in other business settings. By doing so, organization development professionals have a consulting framework for comparing an organization's dominant psychological contract with the extended model presented here.



Bond Baker, T. (2009), "Towards a new employment relationship model", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 197-223.

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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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