An Exploration into Careers and the Psychological Contract in the Public Sector within the Context of an Economic Recession
(2015) An Exploration into Careers and the Psychological Contract in the Public Sector within the Context of an Economic Recession, no. 99.
The purpose of this research is to find out about employees within the public sector and how the recent recession has affected them. The research aims to determine the nature of careers and the psychological contract within the public sector with an exploration into the extent the recent recession has affected these areas. To gain an organisational insight into this topic, employees and managers of a public sector organisation have been interviewed through a semi-structured approach, with interview questions based on the gaps identified within the literature review. A thematic approach was used to analyse the data with any limitations of the interviews being acknowledged. The sample size may be seen as a research limitation due to it being relatively small with only 12 participants, so this may impact on the generalisation of the findings. The findings revealed that the main career path has not changed within the public sector and it still follows the traditional career, whilst contemporary career paths have started to edge into the sector with the next generation of employees. Furthermore, contents of the participant's psychological contract were identified with the employees and managers agreeing on what are expected of each other and what each felt obliged to do, with the main ones being support and to do the job. Finally, it was found that the recent recession had great impact on the public sector, whilst limiting the career paths of employees and heightening some expectations and obligations of both managers and employees. It is recommended by the researcher that future research should include more aspects of the public sector within the sample instead of just one area of the sector. Also, more in-depth research about the psychological contract, specifically multiple contracts and a longitudinal study should be conducted.