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Let's be professional about this: Ideology and the psychological contracts of registered nurses


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O'Donohue, W and Nelson, L (2007) Let's be professional about this: Ideology and the psychological contracts of registered nurses. Journal of Nursing Management, 15 (5). pp. 547-55. ISSN 0966-0429

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Aims This study explores whether there is evidence of an ideological component in
the psychological contracts of professional employees, as well as evidence of credible
supporting commitments by their employer.
Background Fundamental changes in the employment context have prompted many
individuals to seek a closer alignment between themselves and their work, as well as
with the organizational and broader societal contexts. For many professional
employees identification with their professional ideology is a significant factor in
producing such an alignment.
Method The study uses an exploratory qualitative approach to analyse interview
data collected from a sample of registered nurses employed in an Australian public
Results The analysis identifies psychological contract terms best understood by
reference to an ideological currency. It also suggests that the organization is perceived
as obligated to provide credible support for that professional contribution,
and the perceived lack of such support has significant impacts.
Conclusions The findings raise doubts about the utility of the concept of a psychological
contract that recognizes only economic and socio-emotional exchanges
for understanding the psychological contracts of professional employees.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: psychological contract, professional ideology, employment relationship
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Nursing Management
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Page Range: pp. 547-55
ISSN: 0966-0429
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2007.00715.x
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Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:43
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:36
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