Psychology at the workplace

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Psychology at the Work Place


The management of employees’ welfare in the workplace has emerged as a rising and key component for organisations in the global market. In the management of employee needs, there are two types of contracts, namely the legal and employee psychological contracts respectively. However, while as it is possible for the employees to seek legal redress if the legal contracts are unfulfilled, this is not always the case of the psychological contracts are unfulfilled. Thus, the lack of a clear recourse approach, has led to employee increased dissatisfaction, and thus the need to focus and evaluate on this concept. In this context, the need to ensure that the employees are satisfied and their strategic needs and wants aligned with the organisational goals forms the core pillar in employee workplace psychology management. This analysis offers a critical evaluation of the key fundamental issues involved in employee workplace psychology management through a review of three different questions. The essay evaluates the impacts of employee psychological contracts bleach, the impact of such dissatisfaction on employee attitudes, and how employees should align their psychological contracts when selecting a potential employer.

Question 1: Critically discuss the meaning of psychological contract breach and its effects on employees

The concept of psychological contracts can be described and explained through a number of definitions and descriptions in the market. On one hand, a number of scholars have defined it as the informal values and beliefs that define and dictate on an employee –employer relationship. As such, the psychological contracts represent the values and beliefs that both the employees and the employer have upon the start of an employment contract. On the other hand, other scholars view it as mainly inclined to the employees. In this case, they describe it as the overall employee expectations and ambitions in a new employment contract. As such, this implies that the psychological contracts can be directly linked to employee goals and expectations. Thus, this means that employee psychological contracts contents and extent determine and influenced mainly by the respective employee needs and wants in the market (Conway & Briner, 2005). Hence, this leads to the assertion that employee contracts are not a uniform phenomenon across an organisation. Instead, they vary from one employee to the next, and from one employee category and culture to the other. This lead to the arguments that in the development of critical and psychological contracts management systems, employee organisations should orient their systems towards the development of personalised and market unique systems rather than the development of standardised practices in the global market. However, an agreement across all the descriptions is that the lack of an employee legal redress in the market has made the bleach of this strategy a major challenge among the employees.

A failure to fulfil and meet the overall employee psychological contracts has a wide range of implications. On one hand, it leads to employee overall dissatisfaction. This aspect can be explained through a detailed analysis of the components and contributing factors of an employee job and workplace satisfaction. In this case, employee satisfaction is described as the state and nature at which the employee needs and the organisational needs are achieved simultaneously. As such, this is achieved through the alignments of the employee needs and the organisational needs, eliminating the risks of employee conflicts of interest. However, a failure to meet employee psychological contracts expectations raises the conflict of interest in an organisation. On one hand, upon employment, the employees expect a number of issues from the employers such as an opportunity for career development. Although this could not be directly communicated or included in the formal employment contract, it is a key factor in attracting a large employee workforce in the market. In the event that this is not achieved, it means that the employees feel that although their productivity and performance increases the organisational well-being they feel that their individual interest is not met as there would desire. Thus, this leads to an overall dissatisfaction with the employer.

Increased market employee dissatisfaction has an impact on employee tow variables, namely their motivation and productivity, as well as their loyalty and retention rates respectively. On one hand, reduced employee satisfaction has overall impacts on their overall workforce and functioning motivation. This analogy can be well illustrated through a valuation of key employee motivational sources. Under employees motivational theories, the sources of motivations can be classified into two main categories, namely intrinsic and extrinsic employee motivational sources. The aspect of employee dissatisfaction impacts negatively on employee intrinsic motivation, in that they lack a supporting and sufficient inner drive to propel and influence their overall market performances. Thus, this leads to reduced employee workplace motivation, which in turn translates to declining productivity levels in the market. As Zagenczyk, Restubog, Kiewitz, Kiaza and Tang (2014) noted, employee productivity level in an organisation is directly related to their motivational levels. Thus, if the employee’s level of motivation declines due to unfulfilled psychological contracts’, their performance and productivity level are influenced and impacted upon equally.

The third impact of unfulfilled employee contracts is reduced employee loyalty towards an employer. Employee loyalty and commitment to an employer emerges in the event that the employees perceive the employer as an equal opportunity employer who offers employee benefits. In this case, the perceived employee benefits fall beyond the formal duties and obligations of the employer stipulated in the employment contract. As such, employers who are unable to offer and meet these employees needs reduce the overall employee commitment and loyalty in the long run period. A majority of the employee psychological contracts are hedged on the perceived employee value proposition projected by the ventures to the employees at the time of recruitment. In this case, a failure by the ventures to live up to such informal expectations lead to a low loyalty level in the market. Consequently, this has the long-term implication of a low employee retention rate and the rising risk of high employee turnover in the long run period. Reviews, such as one developed by McDermott, Conway, Rousseau and Flood (2013) illustrated that there was a difference in employee turnover between organisations that fulfilled employee psychological contracts and those that failed to honour such contracts. In this case, the evaluation illustrated that in organisations that less honoured their employment contracts had higher trends and occurrences of employee turnover than those that honoured and fulfilled the employee psychological contract expectations.

Question 2: Critically analyse its effects on employees, in particular upon employee attitudes and job outcomes

The fulfilment or the lack of fulfilment of employee psychological contracts has immense implications on the employees’ attitudes and job outcomes. At first, it is imperative to clearly understand the aspect of employee attitude and job outcomes in an organisational setting. On one hand, an employee attitude is the existing perception of an employee on the employer. This ranges from positive to negative attitude, and a liking to a disliking attitude respectively. On the other hand, an employee job performance is described as the level of output per employee evaluated and calculated over a specific period of time. It can either be high or low depending on the employee drive and motivations.

If the employee psychological contracts are not fulfilled on an organisation, there is a rising employee negative attitude. This is because there is the rise of the risk of the potentiality for an employee-employer conflict in the market. Although many perceive workplace conflicts as a fundamental disagreement between the employees and their peers, this is often a different scenario. In this case, the workplace conflicts extend to the inclusion of employee-employer conflicts in the market. In its basic nature, such an employee-employer conflict in the market arises as a result of a failure by any of the two parts involved to fulfil their expectations, either the formal or the informal expectations respectively (Bal, Lange, Zacher & Heijden, 2013). In his regard, if any of the parties expectations are not addressed and met to their satisfaction, there arise a conflict of interest, that result to increased workplace conflicts between the employer and the employees. Similarly, a failure to meet the employees psychological contracts, as already stated reduces their commitment and their willingness to support an organisation. As such, this indicates that in the lack and failure to meet employee psychological contracts, there is increased potentiality for workplace conflicts.

Numerous reviews and studies have been developed to the effect of linking workplace conflicts and employee dissatisfactions and low loyalty levels to negative workplace attitudes and low outcomes. On one hand, a review by McCabe and Sambrook (2013) illustrated that in the global market, there is an existing direct relationship between workplace conflict and a high employee negative attitude. As such, this implies that as more and more psychological contracts are not fulfilled, the employees develop a negative attitude towards the employer. This can be illustrated and evidenced through subsequently rising employee turnover rates as well as declining employee outcomes and productivity in the market.

With the aspect of employee outcomes and productivity, organisational workplace conflicts have an immense negative implication. In this case, the employees’ energy and much time are spent in dealing and resolving the conflicts. Thus, this implies that they have less time and commitment towards the fulfilment and attainment of the overall organisational goals in the market. This is equally so in the case of its impacts on intrinsic employee motivation. As already noted, the intrinsic employee motivation includes the internal drive that propels the employees towards increased productivity (Bal, De Cooman & Mol, 2013). In this case, a high level and rising rates of workplace conflicts reduce such internal drive to performance and work in the organisation, by making the workplace less attractive and less suitable for employee operations in the market. Consequently, the above review illustrates that a lack of fulfilling the employee psychological contracts reduces employees trust and commitment in an organisation that has resulting impacts on creating an employee-employer negative attitude and reduced outcomes and productivity levels in the market.

Question 3: Critically discuss the implications of the findings for the lives and choices of employees and for their employing organisations

The above analysis indicates that the lack of employee psychological contracts has negative implications on the employees well being. Thus, this means that besides the formal contractual agreement, the employees should select and settle for employer organisations that have the potential and reputation of meeting their employees’ psychological contracts in the past. Such an informed employee’s decision would have positive implications for the employees. On one hand, it will ensure that the employees acquire an internal satisfaction and drive to work. This will offer them an ideal opportunity to advance and grow their careers in the market. Secondly, it will Support the employees against the negative trend of a high turnover and change the employer on a regular basis in the market. As such, this implies that an informed choice by the organisation will enable the employees to make an informed and strategic decision in life that will support their growth and expansion trend in the market.

The process of selecting and choosing an ideal organisational employer, the employees should consider a number of the factors in the employer organisation. First, the employees should select an employer organisation with a positive employee feedback and reputation. In this case, the employees should use resources’ such as employees’ online feedback centres in the market. Such reviews offer an insight into nature and the extent to which the organisation has fulfilled their psychological contracts. In a majority of the employee review platform, the major focus is on the employee expectations’ of the organisation and the extent to which such contract was fulfilled by the employer. Through the adoption of such a selection process, the employees will ensure that the employees acquire an employer who has a higher level of employee psychological contracts fulfilment, increasing their chance for satisfaction and retention in such an organisation (Gallani, Krishnan, Marinich & Shields, 2015).

The second focus is should be on the projected organisational employee value proposition. In this case, the employees should be focused on the extent and nature to which the employees’ needs and expectations are met in the market, allowing for an increased satisfaction rate in the market. In this context, employees should evaluate the potential employers’ organisations against their EVP abilities. In most cases, organisations with a high EVP that is hedged on realistic systems and supporting policies have a higher trend for satisfying and meeting the employee needs and psychological contracts.


In summary this evaluation section has explored on the variables and aspects of employee psychological contracts in the market. In this case, the analysis has explored on the definition and impacts of psychological contracts lack of fulfilment on employees. It further explores the implications of employee attitude, and outcomes, swell as how to ensure the satisfaction of the employee psychological contracts. First, it established that a failure to meet employee psychological contracts led to high employee dissatisfaction and evaluation low motivational levels, as well as turnover impacts respectively. Additionally, it established that a lack of psychological contracts fulfilment leads to numerous employee conflicts and eventual negative attitudes. Finally, the analysis indicated that in the selection of a viable employer in the market, employees should evaluate the history and past records of an employer fulfilment of employee psychological contracts.


Bal, P. M., De Cooman, R., & Mol, S. T. (2013). Dynamics of psychological contracts with work engagement and turnover intention: The influence of organizational tenure. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology22(1), 107-122.

Bal, P. M., de Lange, A. H., Zacher, H., & Van der Heijden, B. I. (2013). A lifespan perspective on psychological contracts and their relations with organizational commitment. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology22(3), 279-292.

Conway, N., & Briner, R. B. (2005). Understanding psychological contracts at work: A critical evaluation of theory and research. Oxford University Press.

Gallani, S., Krishnan, R., Marinich, E. J., & Shields, M. D. (2015). Budgeting, Psychological Contracts, and Budgetary Slack. Harvard Business School Accounting & Management Unit Working Paper, (16-017).

McCabe, T. J., & Sambrook, S. (2013). Psychological contracts and commitment amongst nurses and nurse managers: A discourse analysis.International journal of nursing studies50(7), 954-967.

McDermott, A. M., Conway, E., Rousseau, D. M., & Flood, P. C. (2013). Promoting effective psychological contracts through leadership: The missing link between HR strategy and performance. Human Resource Management,52(2), 289-310.

Zagenczyk, T. J., Restubog, S. L. D., Kiewitz, C., Kiazad, K., & Tang, R. L. (2014). Psychological contracts as a mediator between Machiavellianism and employee citizenship and deviant behaviors. Journal of Management,40(4), 1098-1122.