Title: Emotions in the organisation: the psychological contract of hotel and catering workers

Authors: Alan Thomas Harrison, Ruth Simpson, Priya Kaler

Addresses: Brunel Business School, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK. ' Brunel Business School, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK. ' Department of Psychology, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK

Abstract: This paper explores the psychological contract of unskilled workers in the hotel and catering industry and has a particular focus on the significance of its transactional and relational (emotional) components. Previous work on the psychological contract of unskilled workers suggest that formal contractual arrangements, e.g. over hours and pay (the transactional contract), dominate the employment relationship and that employees accordingly experience low levels of commitment, involvement and motivation. Results from this research suggest that workers have an emotional engagement with the organisation (a relational contract) which feeds into these factors as well as into obligations and trust. Bonds between fellow workers, often cemented through shared humour and a sense of fair play by managers and supervisors, emerged as key components of that contract.

Keywords: emotional engagement; hotel and catering industry; psychological contract; unskilled workers; organisational emotion; workplace emotion; emotional bonds; transactional components; relational components.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2005.007329

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2005 Vol.1 No.1, pp.87 - 102

Published online: 05 Jul 2005 *

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