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CHAPTER 6 Flexibility, the Psychological Contract, and Empowerment.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 6 Flexibility, the Psychological Contract, and Empowerment."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHAPTER 6 Flexibility, the Psychological Contract, and Empowerment

2 Flexibility, the psychological contract, and empowerment The chapter aims to explore the HR policies of flexibility, psychological contracts, and empowerment, which have been designed to improve organisational performance It has been observed (Marchington et al, 2005) that there is a tendency for these concepts to become conflated with the anticipated results, so that descriptions become prescriptions

3 Performance The people-performance link (Purcell et al, 2003) draws attention to performance as a function of people’s ability, motivation, and opportunity (AMO) 11 HR policies are required to turn this into action: the ‘performance infrastructure’ The ways in which front-line managers deliver the policies are key: the ‘differentiators’ (The apparent connection with Herzberg’s two- factor theory of motivation here)

4 Flexibility Employers’ needs for workforce flexibility and adaptable organisational structures apparently meet employees’ needs for flexibility in working hours Main types: functional, numerical, temporal, wage, and personal/behavioural Twin dimensions of employee flexibility (Marchington et al, 2005): single or multiple employers, and workers as employees or non- employees. Include networked organisations and outsourced workers

5 The psychological contract Describes the employment relationship in terms of mutual obligations (Argyris, 1960; Schein, 1978) or expectations (Rousseau, 1995) Four types of contract in terms of reciprocity and exchange (Rousseau, 1995): transactional, transitional, relational, and balanced The implications for HRM: managing the contract and getting commitment from employees through motivation (CIPD, 2005) and through reward (Hiltrop, 1996) Contingent workers with obligations to two employers – this raises questions about organisational commitment ‘Old’ and new psychological contracts: move to the self-reliant individualised worker raises questions about loyalty

6 Empowerment The concept is of downsized and de-layered organisations with more intensive workloads, where individually empowered workers display devolved decision-making and self-management Seen as a recent and advanced manifestation of employee involvement Two dimensions(Greasley et al, 2008): psychological (perceptions and cognitions) and structural (policies, practices, and structures). Four cognitions: meaningfulness, competence, self-determination, and impact The reality for employees is control (Greasley et al, 2008) Case study 6.11 suggests differing outcomes for managers and employees

7 Conclusion The organisation and its workers focus on performing; short-term time-frames demand agility, and management aims to empower workers without losing control Workers’ discretionary behaviour might be understood, and managed, through the psychological contract concept Information and assertions, sometimes ambiguous and conflicting, need interpretation in order to guide HR practice

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