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The concept of the invisible contract can also be expressed as psychological contract which entails the unwritten employment relationship between the employer and the employee. It is an unspoken set of beliefs usually hidden or remains invisible, held by both parties which co-exist with the written contract of employment. The psychological contract is used to refer to the perceptions of what both employers and employees have regarding their business relationship based on what they are to give and receive from each other respectively. This concept can be traced back to Ancient Greek Philosophers as well as social contract theorists like John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. Kotter (1973) describes the psychological contract as an implicit contract with specifications of how both the individual and organisation are meant to behave in their employment relationship.
The psychological contract is an abstract relationship between employers and employees driven by their perceptions of values. According to Cluterbuck (2005) value has three core meanings and they are value as respect, value as worth and value as beliefs. Value as respect refers to the perceptions of the employees towards the organisation with regards to how the employee feels about working with that particular organisation. If the employees feel that they are contributing positively to the organisation and if these efforts are being recognised by the organisation, the hidden orientation becomes successful. Value as worth on the other hand refers to how the employers and employees create added value for each other through reciprocal rewards. For example, the organisation providing Good pay and providing training and development opportunities for the employees while the employees in turn add value to share holders in order to raise capital.
In this proposal various psychological aspects will be described in the context of organization and also its employees and also the appropriate methodology for this research will be discussed for the further completion of the investigation.
1.1 Research Question
What is the role of the invisible contact or psychological contract between employers and employees in Starbucks coffee in City East District?
1.2 Key Aims
This research seeks:
To compare the Old and New Types of the Psychological contract
To explore the opinions of a selection of Starbucks Coffee's employees and their managers about their side of the psychological contract.
To evaluate the assumptions both employers and employees have towards the concept of the psychological contract.
To explore how psychological contracts can be enhanced to increase competitive advantage in supermarkets.
To examine the changes in the psychological contract over the years, the reasons for the changes and the influence the new contract is having over both employees and the organisation.
1.3 Background of the Company:
Starbucks Corporation is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington, United States. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 16,120 stores in 49 countries, including around 11,000 in the United States, followed by nearly 1,000 in Canada and more than 800 in Japan. Starbucks sells drip brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks, other hot and cold drinks, snacks, and items such as mugs and coffee beans. Through the Starbucks Entertainment division and Hear Music brand, the company also markets books, music, and film. Many of the company's products are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Starbucks-brand ice cream and coffee are also offered at grocery stores.
In May 1998, Starbucks successfully entered the European market through its acquisition of 65 Seattle Coffee Company stores in the UK. The two companies shared a common culture, focussing on a great commitment to customised coffee, similar company values and a mutual respect for people and the environment.
2.0 Literature Review
This chapter highlights the major arguments surrounding the concept of the psychological contract. The psychological contract is unwritten and therefore it is merely implied but could be explicit to some extent but not necessarily allow for agreement to the parties involvement. It can differ from individual to individual as well as from various organisations because individuals have various perceptions even with the same terms and conditions it still varies amongst individuals.
The concept of the psychological contract can be traced back to Ancient Greek Philosophers and social contract theorists like John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. William Morris described "Love of work" as a Man at work creating something which he feels will exist because he is working at it and wills it and is therefore exercising the energies of his mind, soul and body (Morris 1870).
2.1 Definitions of the Psychological contract
Agyris (1960) has been given credit for bringing to limelight the concept of psychological contract. He describes the psychological contract as a set of practical and emotional expectations of benefits that both employers and employees have of each other. Kotter's (1973) defines the psychological contract as an implicit contract between an individual and his organisation which specifies what each is expected to give and receive from each other in the relationship. Morrison and Robinson (1997) on the other hand describe the psychological contract as an employment belief about the reciprocal obligations between that employee and his or her organisations where these obligations are based on perceived promises and are not necessarily recognised by agents of the organisation. According to Schein (1978) the psychological contract was described as "a set of unwritten reciprocal expectations between the individual employee and the organisation".
According to Goddard (1988), the way psychological contract is managed will determine how successful an organisation will become. The psychological contract entails what both parties to the contract (i.e. the employer and employee) expect from each other based on their employment beliefs and values.
2.2 Types of Psychological Contract
Rousseau (1995) describes four types of psychological contract. The first type is the transactional which is short term and there is very little involvement of the parties, employees are more concerned with compensation and personal benefits rather than being good organisational citizens (Robinson et al 1994). The second type of psychological contract is the relational, which is a long term type focuses on more emotional factors like support and loyalty rather than on monetary issues like pay and compensation. The third type is the hybrid or balanced which aims at long term relationships between employers and employees as well as specifying performance requirements. The fourth type is the transitional contract which according to (Rousseau, 1995) does not offer any form of guarantee because of the ever changing nature of the organisation's environment.
Short Term Long term
Transactional (ex. retail clerks hired during Christmas shopping season)
Easy exit/high turnover
Low member commitment
Freedom to enter new contracts
Balanced (ex. high involvement team)
High member commitment
Transitional ex. employee experiences following merger or acquisitions)
Relational (ex. family business members)
High member Commitment
High affective commitment
Table 1: Types of Psychological contract (Rousseau 1995 Pg 17)
The psychological contract is an abstract relationship between employers and employees driven by their perceptions of values. According to Cluterbuck (2005) value has three core meanings and they are value as respect, value as worth and value as beliefs. Value as respect refers to the perceptions of the employees towards the organisation with regards to how the employee feels about working with that particular organisation. If the employees feel that they are contributing positively to the organisation and if these efforts are being recognised by the organisation, the hidden orientation becomes successful. Value as worth on the other hand refers to how the employers and employees create added value for each other through reciprocal rewards. For example, the organisation providing Good pay and providing training and development opportunities for the employees while the employees in turn add value to share holders in order to raise capital. There must also be a sense of equilibrium here so the parties involved feel a sense of fairness.
There are two main types of psychological contract and they are the Transactional and Relational Psychological contracts. The transactional focuses on short term and specific monitory agreements with little involvement of the parties where employees are more interested in good benefits and compensations. The relational psychological contract on the other hand is a long-term contract that focuses on support and loyalty rather than on monitory issues, it is a more emotional contract. Rousseau (1990) categorisation of obligations as relational or transactional is shown below (Table 2)
Employer Obligations: Relational
Employee Obligations: Transactional
No competitor support
Extra role behaviour
Source: Rousseau (1990)
Table 2: Categorisation of employer and employee obligations as Transactional or Relational
2.3 Changes to the Psychological contract
The concept of the psychological contract has led Academics to carry out a vast and in-depth research on the subject matter. The concept of the psychological contract has changed over the years and this chapter will describe its changes. Holbeche (1998) noted that the old psychological contract existed before the 1980's where employment was guaranteed as long as employees continued to perform their best at work. The change occurred from the 1980's to the present as a result of emergent challenges to corporate strategies which were being influenced by economic turbulence. There was an urgent need by organisations to adopt change to deal with economic downturns and as a result of this most organisations began the process of downsizing and began to focus more on their core business and outsource other peripheral activities. These business strategies were required for organisational development and they challenged the old psychological contract that was based on Job security and moved focus to a new contract that is based on employability.
According to Hiltrop (1995), the psychological contract that gave job security and job stability to the relationship of both employees and employers has dramatically altered in the past two decades. He further stresses the change in nature of loyalty and commitment with the emphasis changing from long term careers to current performance. Rousseau (1995) acknowledges these changes by stating that contracts were previously transactional in nature but with the emergence of the bureaucratic era they developed to become relational.
The old psychological contract was based on a reciprocal obligation of both employer and employee where employees provided loyalty to employers and employers gave Job security. Various factors led to the change in the psychological contract and they include amongst others the recession in the early 1990's as well as the effects of globalisation. This resulted in a change from the old psychological contract to a new contract.
In-depth knowledge of organisation
Staff with a deep understanding of how the business functioned
Acceptance of bureaucratic systems that defined the individual's rate of progress
Willingness to build a career slowly through a defined system
Willingness to go beyond the call of duty when required
Individuals who would put the organisation's needs before any outside interests
Regular pay increases
Regular pay increases based on length of service
Recognition for length of service
Status and rewards based on length of service
Recognition of experience
Respect for experience
Table 3: Adapted from Pemberton's model of the psychological contract (1998)
Table 3 represented above describes the characteristics of the old psychological contract where the organisation provided job security and rewards based on length of service and the employees provided loyalty and commitment on their part.
Sparrow's (1996) interpretation of this new contract is outlined in table 4 below:
Change vs Stability
Performance based reward
Employees for self-development and increasing their employability. Emphasis on development of competencies and technical skills
Paid on contribution
Fewer chances of promotion due to essentially flat organisational structures focus on sideways moves to develop a broader range of skills
Transactional rather than relational; no job security guarantees
Accountability and innovation encouraged
Fewer outward symbols
No longer seen as essential. Emphasis on engendering commitment to current project or team.
Table 4: Adapted Sparrow's new psychological contract (1996)
These changes occurred against a background of economic hardship; redundancies were widespread, unemployment increasing and government focused on reducing trade union powers. The outcome was a more vulnerable and wary workforce. The economic climate forced companies to examine cost reduction as a means of sustaining or increasing profits. Human resource policies were cost effective rather than paternalistic. Staff were increasingly seen as resources who were useful for a specific role and either adaptable or replaceable when that role ended.
The new contract is based on the offer of the employer to provide fair pay for the employee as well as providing opportunities for training and development. As a result of this, the employer can no longer offer Job security and as such has weakened the amount of commitment employees have to offer. Atkinson (2002) suggests that the new contract focuses on the need for highly skilled flexible employees who have little or no job security but are highly marketable outside the organisation.
Bagshaw (1997) states that, in this new Psychological contract, individuals need to commit to five key areas which have both short term and long term views. They are Continuous learning, Team working, Goal setting, Proactive change management and Personal advocacy and networking (Bagshaw 1997 pg 188). He further argues that if these key areas are focused on, the employees will be raising their values of future employability. Furthermore, the common dialogue between the two parties with similar interests in mind will establish commitment and loyalty.
The reasons for such changes were described by Herriot and Pemberton (1997) as the Restructuring and continuous change of organisations led to increased feelings of inequity and insecurity and as a result, motivation was affected negatively.
Hall and Moss (1998) demonstrate the shifting of the psychological contract using three stages of adaptation. The first stage, they described as the trauma of change state and they argued that a lot of organisations go through this stage. The second stage they described as adapting to the new contract where they estimated a 7-year period may be needed in order to fully adapt to the new contract stressing it's not a linear process and as such it is possible to fall back to previous states. The third stage is described by Atkinson (2002) as the point of gradual change and continuous learning, valuing the employee and offering loyalty to employees based on performance and development. This stage seeks to avoid the trauma of the changing contract by offering fundamental respect for the individuals involved.
Hall and Moss (1998) argue that changes to the psychological contract are possible without going through the first and second stages if handled appropriately. Atkinson (2002) further develops two concepts that emerge from long term management of the contract. The first is that organisations that are successful will provide opportunities and resources to enable individuals to develop their own careers through a relational approach. The second is that organisations will need to be more effective in renegotiating contracts and minimising risks of violating contracts (Rajan, 1997). This is because violating contracts will have negative impacts on employee attitudes and motivation.
2.4 Employer and Employee Perceptions
Shore and Barksdale (1998) describe a productive employment relationship as one in which a degree of balance in perceived employee-employer obligations exist. This degree of balance suggests a mutual supporting relationship in which employees offer their skills and organisational commitment in return for rewards from the organisation.
Winter and Jackson(2006) argue the need to consider both employer and employee perspectives, they suggested that it will enable investigation into the perceptions of mutuality of both parties and through this process, evaluate how well the employer has fulfilled his obligations to the employees and vice versa.
Rousseau (1995) states that psychological contracts are formulated in the minds of the individuals and as a result reflect individual beliefs shaped by the organisation in regards to exchange terms between the employee and the organisation (Winter and Jackson 2006). Rousseau (1995) stresses the need for a link between the employees promises and obligations towards the organisation and that of the employer towards the employee. This is because of the differences in perceptions of both employers and employees of what constitutes the conditions of a reciprocal exchange agreement (Winter and Jackson 2006).
contracting transitions herriot
Figure 1 Contracting Transitions (Herriot et al 1998 pg 102)
Figure 1. Above describes the employment relationship of both employer and employee with transitions employees are likely willing to make and what they are able to offer in return. Herriot (1998) describe the process of contracting and negotiating between the employer and employee with a need for organisations to discover individual or group wants and match them with their own wants and offers through negotiation.
Holbeche (1998) describes what employer's perceptions of employees obligations are, as:
Employees will take responsibility for managing their own careers
Be loyal and committed
Be dispensable when they are surplus to requirements
Be adaptable and willing to learn new skills and work processes
Holbeche (1998) further suggests the main components of employee expectations as:
To be more employable in exchange for job security
For organisation to support career development in return for loyalty
For high skills and expertise to be recognised and duel rewarded
According to Armstrong and Stephens (2005), a positive psychological contract is strongly linked to higher employee satisfaction, better employment relations and higher commitment to the organisation. They further suggest how performance management processes can help clarify the psychological contract and make it more positive through:
Defining the level of support to be exercised by managers.
Providing non-monetary rewards that reinforce the messages about expectation.
Providing a basis for the joint agreement and definition of roles.
Providing financial rewards through schemes that deliver messages about what the organisation believes to be important.
Shields (2007), states, trust has been discovered to be a critical factor in employee behaviour and outlook. He further argues that when the level of trust between employers and employees fall, employee commitments and satisfaction deteriorate as well as motivation and effort. Guest and Conway (1997) outlined the following set of practices as having the most positive influence on employee work attitudes and behaviour and they are:
Employee involvement programs
According to Turnley et al (2003), psychological contract breach results in a number of negative results which include, lower levels of employee commitment, increased cynicism, reduced trust, reduced job satisfaction and high turnover.
2.5 Employee Motivation and the Psychological Contract
Employee Psychological contracts are defined by Flannery (2002) as the important additional component to an employee's job description which makes the job worth doing and reflects the main source of employees' motivation. These contracts are part of what motivates employees to be productive at work and enables them to give their all at work. Shore and Barksdale (1998) discovered that employees reported higher levels of commitment, lower levels of turnover and higher organizational support when their employment relationships with their organisations were fulfilled.
Rousseau (2004) suggests three ways in which employees design their own psychological contract. First, through their career aspirations, employees make different commitments to the organisation based on whether they view it as a long term employment possibility or a short term one which they need to move on to attain better opportunities. Employees with a stepping stone perspective tend to adopt transactional contracts while employees with long term employment possibilities tend to be more relational in contract nature.
The second determinant is the personality of the individual, employees that are highly neurotic will tend to adapt more transactional contracts because they tend to reject actions by organisations to build relationships while conscientious workers on the other hand who possess great value for duty are more likely to have relational contracts. Thirdly, Rousseau states that employees who have negotiated special arrangements that are not usually available to others usually believe they relational contracts. This is because they have negotiated for opportunities for training and development which are special arrangements and a feature of relational contracts.
A survey conducted by Guest and Conway (1997) on The Motivation and effort of employees discovered that the more motivated employees had a more positive psychological contract which presupposes that employees who are satisfied with their jobs and committed to their organisations report higher levels of general motivation so also do those with a positive psychological contract (Guest and Conway 1997).
It was also discovered that attitudes have the highest influence on reported levels of motivation. Osteraker (1999) suggests there is a link between values and needs stating that individual needs, influence motivation and those needs determine how individuals will behave. Osteraker (1999) further stresses that values and attitudes can change over time due to a change in the organisation such as downsizing and restructuring.
Hofstede (1984) suggests that different cultures imply different mental programming that controls activities, values and motivations. Therefore, organisational commitment is a psychological state that characterises the employee's relationship with the organisation (Kong 2007). Culture is described as consisting of a system of values, attitudes, belief and behavioural meanings shared by members of a society (Thomas et al 2003). According to King and Bu (2005) employees of different cultural traditions and socio-economic environments are more likely to have very different perceptions on employer-employee relations.
The type of psychological contract that individual employees will form with their employers is influenced by the personality traits, societal values and cultural norms of that particular individual (Raja et al 2004). This further implies that individual personality traits and cultural norms could provide a system that will explain why employees facing similar work environment and work conditions may form very different employment relationships with their employers (Zhao and Chen 2008). These norms, values and beliefs provide a framework that will determine the way individuals behave and act accordingly. Individualism is defined by Gould and Kolb (1964) as an emphasis on one's self as separate from the others and an end in itself. The individual is independent and self reliant believes in self development and competition. In collectivism, the self often overlaps with a group. The main focus is on cooperation with a group, interdependence, social norms with the group comprising of the main unit of social perception with individuals viewed as embedded in a universe of relationships (Lebra 1984).
According to Thomas et al (2003) individualism refers to the tendency to be more concerned about consequences of behaviours of one's personal goals through viewing oneself as independent of others while collectivism on the other hand refers to view oneself as interdependent with selected others with consequences of behaviour for the group as a whole and group interest. Research carried out by Zhao and Chen (2008) discovered, that individuals with an individualistic cultural value tended to form more transactional psychological contracts while people with a collectivism cultural value formed more relational contracts.
It was discovered that collectivism motives tend to avoid differentiation and focus on relational contracts while self motives were more transactional in nature. This goes in line with research conducted by Lee (2000) where it was discovered that relational contracts are more likely related to behaviour in work groups in Hong Kong than in the United States.
2.6.1 Culture, Personalities and the Psychological Contract
Rousseau (1995) outlines the two most important influences of employee's psychological contract and they are both the organisational influences and employees personal dispositions. According to Tallman and Bruning (2008), the way employees interpret information from their employers, their observations of actions and activities in the workplace, together with their personal dispositions are theorised to create idiosyncratic contract attitudes in the minds of employees. Additionally, if management understand the factors that influence the development of employee psychological contracts, they may be able to manage these contracts more effectively (Tallman and Bruning 2008).
Research carried out by Raja (2004) established a link that connected several facets of employee personality to their psychological contracts. Their research examined personality traits, including extraversion, conscientiousness and neuroticism and the extent to which these personality constructs related to employees choice of a transactional and relational psychological contracts.
People high in neuroticism have poor job attitudes and they are unlikely to give of themselves other than what is necessary to maintain their jobs (Tallman and Bruning 2008). Kichuk and Wiesner (1997) further argue that people high in neuroticism are fearful, angry and functions as poor team performers with poor attitudes towards change. Neuroticism has been found to be negatively related to self-esteem and locus of control (Judge et al, 1998). These findings suggest that employees high in neuroticism will develop obligation attitudes that reflect low job commitment and an unwillingness to take initiative in their work.
The outcome of Raja et al (2004)'s research was that neuroticism was positively related to transactional contracts and negatively related to the relational psychological contracts. Relational contracts are dynamic, involving, emotional and prolonging contracts in nature while transactional contracts are short term contracts with little close involvement of the parties (Rousseau 1995). These findings suggest that neurotic employees reject actions by organisations to build relationships with them and as such are focused on instrumental needs such as good pay and benefits.
Raja et al (2004) found extraversion positively related to relational contracts and negatively related to transactional contract indicating extroverted employees are willing to engage in long term relationships with their organisations. This is line with the research conducted by Judge et al (1998) that discovered that extroversion has been related to high job performance, job satisfaction, team performance and low absenteeism.
2.7 Psychological Contract Violation
Psychological contract violation has been defined as a failure of the organisation to fulfil one or more obligations of an individual's psychological contract (Robinson and Morrison 1995). They further make a distinction between breach and violation, stating that the breach is the identification that the organisation has failed to fulfil one or more obligations within one's psychological contract.
Robinson and Morrison (1995) further emphasise that the breach could be relatively short term and as a result individuals could return to their normal 'stable' psychological state or it could alternatively evolve into the full contract violation. Violation on the other hand is the more personalized emotional state that follows from the belief that the organisation has failed to uphold its part of the psychological contract. Rousseau (1989) describes the contract violation as a broken promise that calls into question respect and codes of conduct which increases intensity of responses.
Robinson and Morrison (1995) suggest that the beliefs by employees that obligations and promises have been unfulfilled by the organisation will lead the employees to most likely report a reduction in perceived obligations to their employers, lower job satisfaction and lower citizenship behaviour. Additionally, psychological contract violation reduces organisational commitment and increases cynicism (Robinson and
Prior research conducted by Robinson and Rousseau (1994) reveal that contract violations frequently relates to promotion, compensation and training and development where the employees feel that the organisations has not fulfilled their side of the promise.
3.0 Research Methodology
There are two types of research method
All research will involve some numerical data or contain data that could usefully be quantified to help researcher's question and to meet objectives. Quantitative method refers to all such data and can be a product of all research strategies. It can range from simple counts such as the frequency of occurrences o more complex data such as test scores or prices. To be useful these data need to be analyzed and interpreted. Quantitative analysis techniques assist this process. Researchers should consider the:
Type of data (level of numerical measurement )
Formatted data will be input to the analysis software
Impact of data coding on subsequent analyses (for different data types)
Need to weight cases
Methods are intended to use to check data for errors
The nature of qualitative method has implications for both its collection and its analysis. There are many qualitative research traditions or approaches; with the result that there are also different strategies to deal with the data collected, Tesch (1990) groups these strategies into four main categories:
Understanding the characteristics of language
Comprehending the meaning of text or action
The first two categories listed above are associated with analytic strategies that require greater structure and set procedures to follow, in comparison with the second two.
3.1 Sources of Data
There are various sources for data collection for the purpose of research. And that are describes as follows:
3.1.1 Secondary Data
Secondary Data include both raw data and published summaries. This data include both quantitative and qualitative data, and they can be used in both descriptive and explanatory research. There are three main subgroups of secondary data. : Documentary data, survey-based data, and those compiled from multiple sources
18.104.22.168 Documentary Secondary Data
Documentary secondary data are often used in research projects that also use primary data collection methods. It is included written documents data (notices, correspondence, minutes of meetings, diaries and non-written documents (tape, video. pictures, drawings, films and Television programs).
22.214.171.124 Survey-Based Secondary Data
It refers usually to data collected by questionnaires that have already been analyzed for original purpose. There are three distinct types of survey: censuses (government censuses, censuses of population), continuous/regular surveys (organization's employee attitudes) and ad hoc (Academics' survey) surveys.
3.1.2 Primary Data
Primary research was predominantly used to obtain information and to give accurate and up to date information representing existing feelings that were retrieved from a reliable source; the questionnaires. In order to get useful primary data from a questionnaire, the following formats had to be carefully considered, such as the order, the flow, the questionnaire design, presentation and layout. The order and flow of the questions gave the questionnaire a clear and coherent structure which made it easier for the respondents to follow. The presentation and layout of the survey was kept simple so that it would not cause any confusing as the researcher would not be physically available to answer any queries by participants. The overall questionnaire design and questions asked were kept simple as the author took into account the information that needed to be obtained and the likelihood of the responses.
Source: Saunders (2003)
3.2 Research Design
The research design will be carried out in both the qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The qualitative method will be used to examine the perceptions of the managers to the psychological contract and how it will influence to their behavior at work. The quantitative method on the other hand will be carried out to compare the employee's feelings and opinions towards the organization. The justification of using both qualitative and quantitative process is to get brief ideas as well as an objective oriented result about the psychological contract within the organization.
The primary data will be collected through face to face semi structured interviews and sample questioners. Starbucks Coffee East London Region is a small area where the numbers of the branches are only 6 in total. For this reason the sample size will be small where total 2 Managers, 5 Supervisors and 10 Baristas (employees) will be selected randomly for the interview as well as for the questioners. So, managers will be asked to cooperate with the semi structured interviews (See Appendix A) and Supervisor and lower level employees like Baristas will be given the structured questionnaires (See Appendix B).
The questionnaires shall be kept structured with questions based on the values which employees have on their perceptions of what the psychological contract should be and to gain greater insight on employee expectations of a fair psychological contract. The design of the sample questionnaires will be kept simple and logical. According to (Saunders et al, 2000:93) the use of questionnaires to acquire information on a sizeable population is an economical way of acquiring data in a short period of time and is therefore a commonly used method in business research. The sample questions will be developed without any sort of influence or bias from the researcher. The questions will focus on employee's perceptions, expectations and opinions of the organisation.
3.2.2 Semi-structured Interviews
According to (Saunders et al, 2003), an interview is a purposeful discussion between two or more people. Semi-structured interviews will be adopted for the purpose of this research for the managers to display their concerns and feelings freely. This is because this type of interview is suitable for determining how much knowledge the managers have on the concept of the psychological contract as well as their perceptions of a fair contract.
The use of interviews will help answering the questions of how and what, because the concept of psychological contract is unwritten and is abstract so the need for in-depth analysis is required. According to Saunders (2003), interviews are useful research instruments to gather valid and reliable information relevant to research objectives. The length of the interview will be taken into consideration to prevent the respondents from being carried away from the interview as well the approach to be used in conducting the interview.
The interviews will be conducted into semi-structured in nature which will contain a small number of open questions that will allow the respondents to elaborate on their replies and the interviewer to identify the meaning behind their replies for clearer understanding. According to Hussey & Hussey (1997), cognitive mapping is a method that can be used to guide, examine and analyse interview results thus it's a very effective device. Interviews were chosen with the aim of gaining views on the perceptions the managers had of the psychological contract.
3.3 Reliability and Validity
According to Robson (1993) subject error is an issue of reliability and this happens as a result of carrying out questionnaires on employees at different times can lead to different results. Yin (2003) suggests that these factors determine how reliable the research is. Saunderl (2003) states, the extent to which the reliability can be measured is based on how similar the results will be on different occasions and with different researchers. Therefore, if the findings are similar the research is reliable. Robson (1993) states that, validity of the research can be measured by how accurate the research is with the actual findings.
Saunders (2003) has identified problems that have been associated with gaining access to the organisation, maintaining such access and this is related to the sensitivity of the subject matter and confidentiality of the information required. However, Saunders et al (2003) also provided a number of strategies that could be used in gaining entry. The author used existing contacts as a strategy for gaining entry into the organisation as well as acquiring information through the questionnaires and interviews. He suggested the use of existing contacts while at the same time, developing new ones. The researcher works in Starbucks Coffee and therefore he has an access to the managers as well as the employees within the retail shops to carry out the research. There for it will be possible for the researcher to get reliable source for data collection.
According to Saunders et al (2003) the resources are another phase of viability of the research as it will allow both the researcher and reader to determine if what is being proposed can be resourced for. Resource deliberations may be grouped into recourse to funds and data access. This is because administering research costs money and might involve travel expenses amongst other expenses which have to be carefully considered.
The researcher has an access to the organisation where the research will be carried out because the researcher is a staff in the organisation. The researcher will furthermore use data analysis software, for an example SPSS, which will allow for intricate questionnaire designs and analysis as well as the support from the supervisor to guide the researchers progress.
3.4 Limitations of Primary research
Because of the fear for losing the Job it is difficult for the employees to talk freely regarding their view for the company. Additionally, the views of both the employer and employee may vary regarding the Psychological contract in other stores. Interviewing only two store managers in the district and as such other managers within the district might have different views. Furthermore, The Research will focus only on the City East District of Starbucks Coffee This type of selection of respondents cannot be used to produce samples that are representative of the largest coffee chain in the world.
Invisible contract or the Psychological contract is now a day's an important phenomenon in the aspect of business. Though we know the term psychological contract is hidden and cannot be seen but it's a kind of relationship which can be valued by both the parties who have same interest for the organization. The interest of an organization can be described as to gain profit while keeping its employee satisfied. On the other hand the interest of the employee is not only to earn money but also helping the company to fulfil its strategy where they seek recognition and appraise by their superior. So to investigate the real value of psychological contract the researcher will use both the primary and secondary research to understand its significance in the chosen organization. The researcher here tried to explain how the research will be conducted and consequences of the investigation.