Title: Building psychological contracts in security-risk environments: evidence from Colombia and Mexico

Authors: Jacobo Ramirez; Claudia Vélez-Zapata; Sergio Madero

Addresses: Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, Copenhagen Business School, Porcelaenshaven 18A, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark ' Management Department, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Circular 1 No. 70-01, Bloque 6 Oficina 202, 050031 Medellin, Colombia ' Management and Human Talent Department, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey, Av. Eugenio Garza Sada Sur 2501, 64849 Monterrey, Mexico

Abstract: This paper examines the reciprocal obligations between employers and employees that are framed as psychological contracts in security-risk environments. A total of 30 interviews based on psychological contract frameworks, duty-of-care strategies in terms of human resource management (HRM) systems and the impacts of narcoterrorism on firms were conducted with human resources (HR) personnel, line managers and subordinates at eight national and multinational corporations (MNCs) with subsidiaries in Colombia and Mexico. Our findings generally support the existence of a relational psychological contract in our sample. Duty-of-care strategies based on both HRM systems and the sensitivities of HR personnel and line managers to the narcoterrorism context, in combination with both explicit and implicit security policies, tend to be the sources of the content of psychological contracts. We propose a psychological contract model based on HRM systems and security and control policy in a narcoterrorism context for the further study of firms' duty-of-care strategies.

Keywords: psychological contracts; human resource management; HRM; duty of care; narcoterrorism; organised crime; violence; Colombia; Mexico; security risks; security risk environments; reciprocal obligations; employer obligations; employee obligations; security policies.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2015.072225

European Journal of International Management, 2015 Vol.9 No.6, pp.690 - 711

Received: 18 Dec 2014
Accepted: 17 Jul 2015

Published online: 05 Oct 2015 *

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