The Examination of the Initial Phase of the Psychological Contract

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Author: Andreas Östlund; [2011-07-21]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Although the psychological contract has attracted a great deal of attention from researchers, it still lacks consideration in some important aspects. The psychological contract can be understood as the mutual beliefs and obligations between the employee and his or her organization. Previous research has focused on the time of employment and afterwards, leaving the initial contact with the company un-accounted for. However, it has been acknowledged to play an imperative role. This study aims to provide insights on how knowledge intensive companies establish psychological contracts during their recruitment process. Interviews were conducted with HR-managers and/or team leaders responsible for the recruitment in four knowledge intensive companies. Results show that the relationship between the employer and the employee is multifaceted and varies significantly between the companies. Naturally, trust played an essential role in how the both parties evaluated each other during the process. What was in particular evident in nearly all of the cases was that the creation of the psychological contract to a large extent came down to the individual involvement of the candidate.

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