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Psychological Contract Inducements And Expectations Conveyed To Potential Employees On Organisations’ Websites

Jaco Van Niekerk, Pharny Chrysler-Fox, Rene Van Wyk

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Orientation: The employer–employee relationship is becoming increasingly strained, evidenced by the increase in cases referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. These disputes are presumed to be a consequence of breach of the psychological contract of undelivered expectations or obligations. There seems to be a need to improve the management of employer–employee relationships.Research purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to identify inducements and obligations made known by organisations on their websites.Motivation for the study: Clarity of inducements and expectations may provide a foundation to proactively improve the employer–employee relationship.Research approach/design and method: A quantitative content analysis was identified inducements and expectations on the websites of the 2015 Business Times Top 100 organisations. As two of the companies had merged with existing companies, a total of 98 companies were analysed. A codebook on content associated with the psychological contract generated quantitative data from a qualitative analysis.Main findings: Comparisons between different industries (manufacturing, wholesale and financial services) yielded significant differences between organisational policies and career development inducements. Comparisons revealed that organisations with a career section convey more inducements and expectations than organisations without a career section.Practical/managerial implications: Organisations are offered a means to identify inducements and expectations that are publicly conveyed through their websites and inform the psychological contract.Contribution/value-add: The findings contribute to existing theory of the psychological contract. More insight is gained into the expression of inducements and expectations and the potential association with employees’ psychological contract.