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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Judy Pate, Graeme Martin and Jim McGoldrick

Psychological contract violation has gained the attention of both practitioners and academics in recent years. Critical commentaries have questioned whether breaching such…

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Abstract

Psychological contract violation has gained the attention of both practitioners and academics in recent years. Critical commentaries have questioned whether breaching such a contract has implications for employee attitude and behaviour, and ultimately organisational performance. This paper addresses the question “To what extent does psychological contract breach impact on employee attitude and behaviour?”. The study is based on an industrial textiles company and draws on quantitative and qualitative data. The findings suggested that triggers of violation impinged on employee attitudes but not on behaviour, trends substantiated by analysis of the organisation's absenteeism records. The qualitative data helped explain this trend and have highlighted two contextual issues. The first of these is labour market conditions and perceptions of job insecurity and second of these is a sense of collegiality and pride in the job.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Judy Pate

The purpose of this paper is to propose a processual framework of psychological contract breach, which maps holistically the interactions among concepts drawn from the…

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3933

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a processual framework of psychological contract breach, which maps holistically the interactions among concepts drawn from the trust and justice literature. However, the price of a holistic picture is frequently a lack of depth of analysis of any single variable, and consequently the second part of the paper seeks to unpack a central variable, circumstances of breach.

Design/ methodological approach

Draws on findings from a four‐year qualitative study and investigates the psychological contract in situ. The issue of circumstances of breach was explored inductively by applying in‐depth employee case histories using theory‐based sampling.

Findings

Key findings indicate that breach may occur as a result of direct or indirect organisational actions. Further the degree of reaction may differ according to the type of trigger (i.e. a distributive, procedural or interactional justice issue) and also the extent to which the organisation is held responsible.

Research limitations/Implications

Based on an in‐depth study of one organisation over time; further research is required to ascertain the generalisability of the key findings.

Practical implications

The implications for the practice of management surround the issue of unanticipated results of actions. Changes to substantive, distributive justice issues are likely to result in psychological contract violation or rupture unless handled with care. The repercussions of relationship fracture include diminished employees attitude and, perhaps more importantly for the organisation, negative behaviour.

Originality/value

The key contribution of the paper is that it presents a new model of psychological contract and elucidates a key aspect of the holistic model using empirical data.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2010

Judy Pate and Phillip Beaumont

This paper aims to examine an attempt by an organisation to address the significant problem of bullying and harassment. In doing so the paper particularly centres on the…

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4923

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine an attempt by an organisation to address the significant problem of bullying and harassment. In doing so the paper particularly centres on the question of how the relative success of bullying and harassment policies might be measured.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a quantitative longitudinal study of a single organisation.

Findings

The findings revealed that there was a significant reduction in perceptions of bullying in the organisation. The level of trust in senior management, however, was not enhanced as a result of the success.

Research limitations/implications

The study emphasises the need for further research on measuring the outcomes of bullying and harassment policies and also work is required to further the understanding of trust between senior management and their workforce.

Practical implications

The paper highlights the importance, and difficulties, in assessing the success of policies such as bullying and harassment. In many respects this paper contains a mixed message for senior managers. Employees may acknowledge the impact of management actions on reducing the level of bullying and harassment but was not associated with a noticeable improvement of trust in senior management.

Originality/value

There is a plethora of literature on understanding the complexities and effects of workplace bullying. The literature, however, is relatively silent on the issue of measuring success of a policy and this paper seeks to contribute discussion on the subject.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Judy Pate, Phillip Beaumont and Sandra Stewart

The purpose of this paper is to examine the important issue of trust in senior management in the public sector. More specifically, the research aims to explore to what…

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2530

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the important issue of trust in senior management in the public sector. More specifically, the research aims to explore to what extent has there been a downward spiral of trust in public sector senior management in the eyes of their employees in recent years, and whether this trend spans the public sector as a whole.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies from two public sector organisations, which are of very different character. The question being asking of the data is whether a relatively similar percentage of the workforce lacks trust in senior management and whether this is for essentially the same reasons. An attitude survey of the population of both case study organisations was conducted in conjunction with focus groups.

Findings

The findings in the paper revealed two important matters. First, longitudinal data indicates that relative distrust of senior management is enduring and cannot be explained or rationalised by merely a short‐term breakdown of communication. The second conclusion from the data is that although the two case study organisations had dramatically different structural characteristics, histories and workforce compositions, the degree of lack of trust in senior management was remarkably similar both as regards extent and leading cause of this.

Practical implications

The findings from two very different public sector organisations suggest that there is a persistent lack of trust in senior management. This finding has important implications for managing the workforce as a lack of trust has significant implications for employee attitudes and behaviour.

Originality/value

This paper raises some important concerns with regards to the quality of the employee‐employer relationship in the public sector.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2009

Judy Pate, Phillip Beaumont and Gwilym Pryce

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between organisational identification and identification with work group and profession for knowledge workers. The

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between organisational identification and identification with work group and profession for knowledge workers. The literature points to two competing standpoints, first, a compatible relationship between focal points of identity and second, a trade off relationship whereby an increase in one is at the expense of another.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the population of a large public UK sector organisation ordinary least squares regression was used to examine these relationships.

Findings

The findings established a strong relationship in which work group, organisational and professional identification were compatible.

Research limitations/implications

The findings indicate, at least in this context, that no inherent trade off or problem reconciling multiple identities was evident. Regrettably the authors do not have the capacity to comment on the weighting or the relative importance placed on each focus of identity; this is an area for future research.

Originality/value

This paper seeks to contribute to the discussions of is the relationship between organisational identification and allegiances with the workgroup or profession, which is underdeveloped in the literature.

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2010

Judy Pate and Hugh Scullion

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether traditional conventions of the expatriate psychological contract have altered from both employer and employee perspectives…

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5804

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether traditional conventions of the expatriate psychological contract have altered from both employer and employee perspectives. In essence to what extent have multi‐national corporations adjusted organisational practices to reflect changing circumstances and to what extent have expatriates altered their mindset towards employers' obligations and requirements.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on findings of three organisational case studies and is based on in‐depth interviews with HR managers, line managers and expatriates.

Findings

The findings reveale that the overall tone of the psychological contract from the employers' perspective is transactional. From an employee perspective, preliminary evidence suggests that the dynamics of the employment relationship is changing and that employees have responded to contract changes by seeking to ensure their employability and reduce their dependence on a single organisation.

Practical implications

The paper focuses on four areas for managers: first, pro‐actively influencing expatriates' expectations thereby minimising misunderstandings; second, organisations should be very aware of “the remuneration market rate” for a particular location; third, policies of support and contact would aid feelings of integration. Finally, more attention should be paid new approaches to strategic talent management.

Originality/value

This paper contributes theoretically and empirically to the literature on expatriates' psychological contracts, an area where there is a dearth of empirical research. The paper also increases the understanding of the variety of expatriate perceptions in different contexts, thereby deepening the understanding of the importance of context in this area.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

Judy Pate, Graeme Martin, Phil Beaumont and Jim McGoldrick

Addresses the question: will investment in HRD through company‐based programmes of lifelong learning pay dividends to companies in terms of knowledge transfer from courses…

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1868

Abstract

Addresses the question: will investment in HRD through company‐based programmes of lifelong learning pay dividends to companies in terms of knowledge transfer from courses and more positive psychological contracts? Develops a model of the relationship between HRD investment, the content of psychological contracts and key consequences such as satisfaction, continuance commitment and knowledge transfer. This model is tested empirically using data from a survey of a cohort of participants in a major Scottish electronics company. The results show that the programme paid off in terms of more positive psychological contracts and knowledge transfer. However, contrary to other research, the nature of the transfer climate (e.g. manager support, career and salary advancement, etc.) was not seen to be important in affecting knowledge transfer. This latter finding has important implications for HR policies in knowledge creating companies.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 24 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Judy Pate, Graeme Martin and Marc Robertson

This paper reports the findings of a case study undertaken in the Scottish hospitality industry of which the process of accrediting competencies has been positively…

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1023

Abstract

This paper reports the findings of a case study undertaken in the Scottish hospitality industry of which the process of accrediting competencies has been positively experienced by employees and managers of Montpelier (Edinburgh) Ltd. The paper begins by reviewing some of the British and American theoretical and practical literature on the accreditation of competencies to raise some of the issues which are addressed by our data. The study draws on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in order to evaluate the value of Scottish vocational qualifications (SVQs) to both the employee and employer. The findings suggest that, on balance, the competence approach has proven to be a popular and useful method of job and career development for those people participating in the programme and provides a useful development framework for the employer.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 27 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Graeme Martin, Judy Pate, Phil Beaumont and Alan Murdoch

This paper examines the problems involved in developing collective bargaining in the traditionally non‐union environment of the strategically important UK offshore oil…

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1664

Abstract

This paper examines the problems involved in developing collective bargaining in the traditionally non‐union environment of the strategically important UK offshore oil industry. In doing so it provides evidence on the success of the “new”, stakeholder industrial relations environment established by the present UK government. Drawing on an in‐depth insight into management and union strategies gained from action research, the paper documents the attempt to establish a collective agreement and a partnership approach to industrial relations in the drilling sector of the North Sea offshore oil industry, a sector which has had no previous history of unionisation. In doing the research provides evidence partnership policy, the literature on union recognition and the process of negotiation in international organisations.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2010

Judy Pate, Moira Fischbacher and Jane Mackinnon

The Scottish Parliament has recently formed Community Health Partnerships (CHPs), in which health and social care providers come together within a unified organisational…

Abstract

Purpose

The Scottish Parliament has recently formed Community Health Partnerships (CHPs), in which health and social care providers come together within a unified organisational framework. This paper aims to assess the extent to which employees identify with their profession and whether professional identity poses a significant barrier to multi‐disciplinary, inter‐organisational partnership.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a mixed methodology approach. A survey of all CHP staff was conducted, four months after the CHP was created and obtained a 31 per cent response rate. Additionally, to obtain an in‐depth understanding of the partnership, 26 interviews were conducted with senior and middle level managers and professional representatives.

Findings

A strong professional identity in the health and social care context was evident while the partnership vision, in contrast, lacked clarity. Therefore under these circumstances individuals' sense of occupation has been heightened due to perceived attempts to erode their professional identity, and modifications to their sense of “self” have not been challenged by a strong partnership ethos.

Practical implications

Managers face a deep‐rooted cultural based challenge where individuals strongly identify with their profession rather than the ethos of the partnership, which impedes full integration. Managers have a “balancing act” of addressing structural and processual change within the integration agenda, without losing sight of the outcomes in terms of service delivery and improving health and wellbeing.

Originality/value

This paper examines the implications of a new major health policy change that aims to integrate health and social care. In addition, the study unravels the complex issue of professional identity in this context.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

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