The psychological contract of knowledge workers
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore whether the concept of psychological contracts underpinned by relational/transactional exchanges provides an adequate description of knowledge workers' contracts. Design/methodology/approach - The research approach uses interviews with ten scientists from within a pre-eminent Australian scientific research and development organization, the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Findings - The research strong evidence of an ideological currency within the psychological contract for this set of knowledge workers. Practical implications - The research raises questions over the role of normative occupation-specific beliefs about work, and the sharing of common currency elements by individuals in the same organization within the same occupation. The analysis lends support to calls in the literature for a reconsideration of the transactional/relational interpretative framework that underpins the psychological contract. Originality/value - This exploratory study lends support to calls in the psychological contract for the reconsideration of the cognitive-perceptual definition of the concept and its transactional/relational interpretative framework.
Journal of Knowledge Management
Human Resources Management