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New psychological contracts in the world of work: economic citizens or victims of the market? The situation in Germany

Gerhard Blickle (University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany)
Alexander Witzki (University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany)

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Article publication date: 20 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to present the causes and manifestations of the changed conditions of work for employees since the 1990s with a particular focus on the situation in Germany. These changes are characterized by a higher demand for expertise and a lower protection against life risks for employees. The paper seeks to address some of the issues surrounding this.

Design/methodology/approach

The desire to realize an individual concept of personal identity in work life is argued to be the main driving force of individual career development. It is set in relation to new normative guiding principles of employment (protean career model, boundaryless career model, employability construct).

Findings

Empirical studies support the importance of an individual work identity concept for individual career development. The political and, more importantly, the economic situation in Germany, Europe and other parts of the world has dramatically changed since 1989. The prospective demographic changes in Germany until 2050 and their effects on the job market are also considered.

Originality/value

The paper describes the underlying causes for the changes in the conditions of employment and how these are manifested in the conditions of work, and it also presents empirical findings about the individual coping with career changes.

Keywords

Citation

Blickle, G. and Witzki, A. (2008), "New psychological contracts in the world of work: economic citizens or victims of the market? The situation in Germany", Society and Business Review, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 149-161. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465680810880071

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited