The Contemporary Employment Relationship

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It is the opinion of the writer that the employee’s need for autonomy is neither destabilising nor stabilising the contemporary employment relationship, but instead residing somewhere in-between both arguments. Given conflicting research surrounding the area of employee autonomy it is suggested that the need for autonomy can both support and hinder working relationships. The employment relationship considers interconnections between employers and employees and can take the form of physical employment contracts or psychological contracts (Armstrong, 2015, p.215). Rousseau’s (1989) definition of the Psychological Contract suggests that a working contract exists either explicitly or implicitly based on perceived obligations/promises whereby…show more content…
This paper considers the contemporary employment relationship in the context of the psychological contract and changing employment arrangements, far removed from traditional labor agreements. A transition from traditional employment relations is evident in Guest’s (2004) discussion of various changes in the contemporary working agreement: the physical workforce has decreased within organisations, fragmentation and flexibility of work is increasing, change is imminent and frequent, work-life balance is of greater importance among an increasingly diverse workforce, more informal means of consultation and negation are upsurging and individualistic attitudes promote a decline in collective orientation. In light of these changes it is plausible to suggest that increased employee autonomy is not only of great importance to the contemporary workforce but is fact one of the prevailing factors influencing modern working arrangements. The provision and implications of employee autonomy have been widely researched and discussed. Autonomy with respect to the working environment refers to the provision of freedom and independence to employees in their work. The nature and expression of workplace autonomy can vary across companies but may broadly be described as the employees ability to make decisions, hold responsibility…show more content…
Organisations that encourage employee autonomy according to Paul et al (2000) construct beliefs about opportunities for empowerment. Where beliefs about empowerment opportunities exist within an organisation, it is plausible to suggest that gaining greater autonomy may form an integral part of the psychological contract for employee’s to whom freedom privileges are important. The question of the stability of the employment relationship is therefore illuminated where these beliefs are met or

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