chapter  5
35 Pages

Quality of the employment relationship: trust and job insecurity

Quality of the employment relationship: social climate factors In Chapter 2 we concentrated on the nature of the psychological contract and in the previous two chapters we have explored the end-of-jobs and job insecurity theses in more detail. We now turn to the topic of insecurity from a psychological perspective, and highlight our views on perceptions of trust and justice, the experience of downsizing, and the nature of job insecurity. It has long been recognized that positive attitudes of employees and contributions from them that go beyond their prescribed and contractually enforceable roles is a source of competitive advantage, but given the recent changes in the employment relationship renewed attention has been paid to the challenge of understanding and explaining the motivational basis of such positive attitudes and behaviour.1 In Chapter 2 we drew attention to the role of social exchange in the employment relationship and pointed out that this is based on a longerterm trust-based one, predicated on the perception of fair treatment. In order for there to be a social exchange, the employee has to be able to trust others to discharge their obligations. In this chapter we examine a range of factors that act as important precursors to there being a healthy psychological contract at work, what we call social climate factors, as well as a series of significant outcomes that result from it – what we describe as organizational-individual linkages and concentrate on some of the social climate factors. In Chapter 8 we will consider the role played by a series of important individual-organizational linkages.