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Psychological contracts: are they still relevant?

Heather Maguire (Department of Economics and Resources Management, University of Southern Queensland, Queensland, Australia)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 June 2002



In dynamic business environments the concept of the psychological contract has altered radically. Empirical evidence from a case study conducted in one of Australia’s largest banking organisations is used to illustrate how change can impact upon the psychological contract. Traditional loyalty to an organisation and continuance commitment are becoming less important as organisations pursue more transactional relationships with their employees and as employees are encouraged to pursue more self‐interested “protean” careers. The question could be asked whether, with such increased emphasis on self‐serving personal and organisational strategies, the “psychological contract” continues to provide a means of establishing effective relationships between organisations and their employees. The main conclusion is that the maintenance of such contracts still makes an important contribution to organisational relationships but that organisations need to seek ways of adjusting the terms of the psychological contract to meet the needs of an increasingly mobile and protean workforce.



Maguire, H. (2002), "Psychological contracts: are they still relevant?", Career Development International, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 167-180.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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