Chapter 10

The Unwritten Agreement: Psychological Contract

In This Chapter

arrow Describing the psychological contract

arrow Knowing what happens when someone violates the contract

arrow Keeping a psychological contract in place

When you start a new job, you get a contract of employment. This contract gives you lots of specific information about the deal between you and your employer. For example, you work 40 hours per week, your employer gives you £20,000 ($31,000), you get 20 days vacation a year, and so on. You know exactly where you stand.

But is this contract enough? Just think about certain behaviours and attitudes you may expect from your employer that aren’t spelled out, such as opportunity for promotion or equal pay. Likewise, your employer may also expect certain behaviours from you, such as not spending all your working time updating your Facebook page.

Work psychologists call these unsaid or implicit contractual expectations between you and your employer the psychological contract. This contract is important because it can affect your impression of your employer and, as a result, your behaviour at work, which in turn affects your employer. In this chapter, we explain what a psychological ...

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