IntroductionThe paper provides a preview of the article by Middlemiss (2011) on the relationship between the psychological and the employment contract. This is attained through a critical analysis of the of the various factors raised in the article. Of particular interest will be why employee relations have been defined and characterized using the psychological contract. The paper will specifically determine why the psychological contact is concerned with the beliefs that are held by the employees on their employers. It will be basically concerned with the set of beliefs on what is expected from the employer and what the employer expects from the employee.
This psychological contract was stated in the article by Middlemiss (2011) as being broader than the real employment contract. Even so, the breadth of this contract depends on the type of relationship of the contract; whether part time, fixed or open-ended contract. In addition, this contract is affected by what is agreed by the employer and the employee during hiring or prior to employment. Therefore, there exists a great relationship between the employment contract and the psychological contract. According to Burke and Cooper (2000), the relationship that exists between the psychological and the employment contract, one of the differences that exist between the two has to be considered.
This difference is that employment contracts are explicit (whether verbal or written) or they could be implicit just like implied terms. These contracts are legally binding. The psychological contract on the other hand is subjective and lacks any clarity or formality. In addition, these contracts are not legally binding. This does not imply that they do not have any strong influence on the relationship between the employer and the employees.
In fact, the contract presents a strong influence on the behavior of the two subjects since their relationship is based on the beliefs that the arties have and the views that they have with respect to the nature of the relationship of employment that they work under (Conway and Briner, 2005). Mohr (2000) argues that the psychological contract makes the employee to behave in ways that attract certain positive remarks from the employee. For instance, the employee may believe that if work is done in overtime and no payment is expected, then the employer may consider promoting the employee.
This is an example on how the contract influences the type of relationship between the employer and the employee. In recent times, the psychological contract has been used as an important way of understanding the well being of employees, their performances as well as their attitudes. However, there has been some misunderstanding between the employers and their employees because of what each of them believes. Such misunderstandings can often lead to wrong interpretation and application of the psychological contract.
Such misunderstandings lead to poor communication and they could also lead to conflicts if not handled with the required care. It is therefore essential for the two parties to agree or disagree on their psychological contract (Guest, 2000). Questions may be raised on why the psychological contract important if it can lead to conflicts. In addition, it may be questioned on the reason for a psychological contract yet there is the employment contract that can be used to govern the operations of the two parties.
Like Middlemiss (2011), this contract can be used by the employers and the employees in reading between the lines and understanding how their counterparts behave or what they are planning. For instance, when an employer wants to fire an employee, the employee could get the signs from the behavior of the employer or from their fellow colleagues. By listening to their colleagues and reading the moods of the employer, the employee can alter the psychological contract so as to try and salvage the relationship. Furthermore, the employers can read the attitude of their employees and make sense out of their behavior.
This can alert them of any ill arrangements that the employees have; like an impending demonstration or when their employees are totally unsatisfied. By getting the impression revealed to them. The employers can address the issues on time and save the organization a lot of time and to some extent, resources that they could have wasted in the event that the indicated problems by the employees were not addressed. Of importance, therefore, is for the employers and their employees to understand the effect of their psychological contract and how it can be used to the mutual benefit of the parties.
One proper way of understanding this issue is for the two parties to create a culture of communication that will facilitate their interaction. Through communication, they can create a clear understanding of what is expected of them, and what they should do to sustain this relationship (Lindsay, 2001).