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Managing the Psychological Contract for Employers of Choice: Would You Like Fries with That?


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O'Donohue, W and Wickham, M 2007 , 'Managing the Psychological Contract for Employers of Choice: Would You Like Fries with That?', paper presented at the 21st Australia New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, 4-7 Dec, Sydney.

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In Australia, as elsewhere in the Western world, organisations are endeavouring to position
themselves as ‘Employers of Choice’ (EOC). In marketing parlance, becoming an EOC involves
construction of a unique ‘brand identity’ and ‘value proposition’ that sets an organisation apart from
its competitors in a tight labour market. In other words, understanding how the psychological contract
can be constructed as an attractive ‘value proposition’ is a prerequisite for successful employer
branding. Recently, in the light of perceived theoretical limitations and practical implementation
issues associated with the psychological contract, there has been a call for an expansion of the
perspectives used to inform its conceptualisation and management. In response, this paper explores
the application of marketing concepts and theories to the psychological contract, highlighting the
differing manner in which employees and the organisation perceive value in relation to the benefits
and the costs associated with the employment relationship. It suggests that using everyday marketing
language and concepts surrounding notions such as ‘value’ and ‘price’ offers the potential for
broadening managers’ understanding of the psychological contract and its role in creating and
sustaining a viable EOC position.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:O'Donohue, W and Wickham, M
Keywords: Keywords: Human resource management, Human resource management and organisational performance, Strategic human resource management.
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