The book seeks to make sense of the organizational experiences of the professional worker by drawing on several areas of research, including the psychological contract, social identity theory, theories of career development and retention. The author uses real-life examples and short case studies to situate psychological theory within organizations.
Beginning with an introduction of the history and concept of the psychological contract, the book provides an overview of the major areas of research. However it goes beyond a simple description to focus on the careers of professional workers, from factors influencing the entrance into a profession, to the process of developing professional identities and career progression.
The developing professional career may involve a progression to managerial responsibilities which can lead to organizational conflict. The book offers insights into the influence of the psychological contract when it comes to critical career decisions, including a discussion of the consequences of psychological contract violation. Finally the role of HR is examined with reference to the 'management' of the psychological contract and the retention of key professional workers within organizations.
The book is key reading for all psychology students, especially those specializing in occupational, organizational, work and business psychology. It will also be of interest to HR students and HR professionals, business students and health professionals.
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Christeen George is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and is the Programme Director of the MSc in Occupational/Organisational Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. She is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
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