Hrm and Employment Relationships

HRM and Employment Relationships Employment Relationship Employment Relationship can economical, social and political relationship in which employees provide manual and mental labour in exchange for reward from employers (Gospel and Palmer 1993) There are 4 Dimensions within the employment relationship * Economic exchange – Wage-effort bargain * Socio-political – Power * Legal/Contractual * Psychological contract/social exchange Contract of employment is formed when an offer of employment is made and accepted There are 3 ‘types’ of contract in the employment relationship (Schein 1980): 1. Formal – Economic and legal; 2.

Informal – Reflecting the social norms in the workplace (the organisational ‘culture’) and those in wider society about how people should treat each other (‘Natural justice’); 3. Psychologrcal (implicit ‘contract’ made up of unspoken expectations and obligations). The Psychological Contract of Employment A set of unwritten reciprocal expectations between an individual employee and the organisation’ (Schein 1977) Positive psychological contract through particular configurations of HR policies and practices * Behavioural and performance outcomes such as job satisfaction, employee commitment, motivation and lowered intention to quit.

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The Explicit Contract of employment An agreement between two parties enforceable by law… a contract of service and comes into being when an employee agrees to work for an employer in return for pay’ (ACAS) * Accumulation of rights and responsibilities for both parties * The terms of a contract can be: * Express (explicitly agreed between the parties, either in writing or orally) * Implied (not explicitly agreed but which would be taken by the parties to form part of the contract Control VS Commitment

With the evolution of people management there is now more of a focus on control. The logic of control Direct control * Low trust employment relationship * Strict supervision and task specification * Subordination of labour to capital. Responsible autonomy High trust commitment relationships A degree of worker discretions and responsibility Edwards (1979) developed this analysis by identifying two ‘structural’ strategies for control: Technical control -built into machinery and technology (Fordist)

Bureaucratic control -Control via internal labour markets, career structures and the position of individuals relative to one another with regard to job security, status and ‘rank’. Social control Conformity and compliance with a set of formal or informal rules Internalisation of norms and values of a group Handy (1976), referring to organisations in their broadest possible sense (not only work organisations), identifies three types of psychological contract: Coercive * Contract is not entered into freely (e. . prisons) * Majority dominated by minority who exercise control by rule/punishment * Emphasis on conformity. Calculative * Contract is entered into freely but control is maintained by management * Power is expressed in terms of their ability to give desired rewards to the individual. Co-operative * Individual tends to identify with the goals of the organisation and strive for their attainment through individual effort. * Effort is based on the degree the individual has input in the company’s goals.

Commitment is closely associated with motivation, but whereas motivation is focused mainly on the individual, commitment is more strongly associated with the individual’s attachment to, and identification with, the work organisation and the organisation’s goals’ (Blyton ; Jenkins 2008; 139) Employee commitment and association with the aims and values of the firm are the mediating link between HR policies and practices and enhanced individual and organisational performance

Relationship reflects form of ‘labour’ involved and that can be ‘bought’ in this exchange: * Physical * Mental (‘thinking’) * Emotional (‘the act of expressing organisationally-desired emotions during service transactions’: Morris ; Feldman 1996; 987) * Aesthetic (‘looking good’ or ‘sounding right’: Nickson et al. 2003).

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