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The compatibility of construction companies' human resource development policies with employee career expectations

ANDREW R.J. DAINTY (School of the Built Environment, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry, CV1 5FB)
BARBARA M. BAGILHOLE (Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU)
RICHARD H. NEALE (Research Office, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, CF37 1DL, UK)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 1 February 2000



In order to retain and motivate employees, organizations must respond to their expectations, both in terms of meeting formal aspects of their employment contracts and in addressing their less formal expectations of the employment relationship. Within the current human resources management (HRM) literature, these informal expectations are known as psychological contracts. This paper reports on research that explored psychological contracts within the construction industry. In‐depth interviews were held with more than 80 construction managers and professional staff who worked for five large UK contracting organizations. The interviewees were asked to describe their career histories, and to discuss any tensions between the personnel policies of their organizations and their personal career aspirations and expectations. It emerged that responsibility for human resource development (HRD) had been largely devolved to divisional and operational management. This led to HRD becoming fragmented and unresponsive, and to employees becoming disillusioned by their employers' failure to meet their expectations. It is argued that construction companies require a more sophisticated understanding of their employees' expectations of the employment relationship if they are to be retained in the long term.



DAINTY, A.R.J., BAGILHOLE, B.M. and NEALE, R.H. (2000), "The compatibility of construction companies' human resource development policies with employee career expectations", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 169-178.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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