Project Management And The Changing Psychological Contract

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND THE CHANGING PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT Dainty et al. (2004) explored the nature and content of psychological contract amongst key management group in construction industry in the UK. Psychological contract is defined by Rousseau (1995, p.9) as “individual beliefs, shaped by the organization, regarding terms of an exchange agreement between individual and their organization”. They are informal, unwritten mutual expectation of input and subsequent output in employment relationship which are not part of the formal contract and therefore very dynamic (Atkinson, 2002; Morrison, 1994; McDonald and Makin, 2000; Dainty et al. 2004). Dainty et al. research revealed a complex picture of psychological contract of construction…show more content…
The results of breach are more negative to employees such that Rousseau and Schalk (2000) advocate focusing on not breaking the psychological contract and; as Dainty et al. (2004) puts a strong emphasis on re-negotiation and adjustment whenever possible as one of the remedy to the relationship. Considering its dynamic nature, Makin et al. (1996) and Atkinson (2002) stressed that Psychological contract are best kept open, emphasising on more identifiably contracting process and well known to all parties involved. This is unfortunately not always the case. Nevertheless, it is argued that sufficient amount of time (almost seven years) is required for individual to fully experience the positive side of psychological contract after change (Atkinson, 2002). Considering the temporary nature of most projects, work environment, the subjectivity and dynamic state of this contract, it is worth evaluating whether it is really possible to fulfil in totality this contract. There are quite a number of similarities between Dainty et al. (2004) findings and most writers on the subject (Robinson & Rousseau, 1994; Bellou, 2006, McDonald and Makin, 2000 and Atkinson 2002), yet their study is not without limitations. Surprisingly, no effect of psychological change and breach to employers was mentioned as contract is a two-way traffic phenomenon; it concerns with both parties’ promissory obligation and mutual expectation
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