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You are lucky to have a Job!: An exploration of the impact of the financial recession of 2008 on the psychological contract, examining in particular the themes of trust, employee engagement and communication

Woods, Madeleine (2015) You are lucky to have a Job!: An exploration of the impact of the financial recession of 2008 on the psychological contract, examining in particular the themes of trust, employee engagement and communication. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

This study explores the effects of the recession in Ireland on the psychological contract, looking specifically at trust. The research draws on the framework of the psychological contract looking principally at the work of Rousseau, Guest, and Dundon.

The economic downturn and subsequent recession had a major effect on every industry and sector of Ireland. Thus unemployment figures in Ireland rose from an impressive 4.9% to an overwhelming 15% during the height of the recession in 2012 (CSO, 2015). Many commentators have argued that the unemployment figures were significantly higher than the actual reported statistics when you considered people that had emigrated and the under-employed. Although there has been widespread coverage on the redundancies and terminations that took place during this time, there has been little talk about the effects these actions had on the people. As Ireland claws it way on the road to recovery this study will look at how the actions in the recession impacted employees and what it means for the new employers.

The term psychological contract originates from the Greek language. It means ‘mind, spirit and soul’ (Makin et al, 1996). Schein’s defines the psychological contract as ‘an unwritten set of expectations operating at all times between every member of an organization and the Manager and other members in the organization’ (Schein, 1980). Taking into account the severity of the economic crisis in Ireland one can ascertain quite easily that these economic challenges would have hugely effected workers contracts through, redundancy, reduced working hours, pay cuts and terminations. Even though Schein recognizes that the psychological contract is unwritten he emphasizes the importance of the PC when determining the behaviours and attitudes of workers (Schein, 1980).

This dissertation will attempt to ascertain whether or not the level of trust between employees and employers has been affected by the events of the economic recession and the aftermath for the workplace such as reduced working hours, pay cuts, pay freezes, redundancies and dismissals. The research will be carried out through a small scale unstructured interview from employees of a small IT tech company based in Dublin.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions > Economic Recession
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Performance Management > Employee Engagement
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Industrial Psychology > The Psychological Contract
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Human Resource Management
Depositing User: CAOIMHE NI MHAICIN
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2015 14:33
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2015 14:33
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/2064

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