THE BLACK BRITISH CLERICAL WORKERS’ RESPONSE: Psychological Contract Violation

Contract Violation

In this section, the relevant factors influencing and constraining the black British clerical workers to react differently to psychological contract violation are discussed.The result of this research concludes that the black British clerical workers response to psychological contract violation or breach wereinfluenced and constrained by four main societal factors, these including: (1) outside support (2) economic conditions (3) black extended family and (4) educational qualification. Juvenile Delinquency

At first during the pilot interviews it was noticed that when the term ‘violation’ was mentioned most participant assumed this was referring to ‘mistreatment, aggression, hostility’ and ‘violence’. Initially, participants were asked, “How would you deal with psychological contract violation?” The reply received was, “What is psychological contract violation?” It took a while, but in the end it was possible to establish a better understanding, and thus emerged the use of the term ‘unfulfilled promise or disappointment’ to describe the term ‘violation’. The factors exhibited by the black British clerical workers to have influenced and constrained their response to the psychological contract violation, are discussed below:

Outside Support

Here this study discussed how participants would go and seek advice from groups outside the organization. The rationale is that participants feel groups outside the organization are less likely to be biased towards them and so they are more comfortable discussing their problems as they hope to get honest advice. When asked to describe how they would respond to unfulfilled promise, they responded in a way that indicates that the psychological contract violation varies from one person to another. The finding revealed that the participants’ background and upbringing determines how they would respond to violation or breach, as supported by Olurode (1994, 2003). When there is problem at work the usual first port of call is the trade union. The finding revealed that 20% of the participants indicated that they hardly contact their union representatives, because they felt the trade union is also part of the negotiation team that brought in the changes and so there are limits as to how far they can take the matter. In contrast, about 60% of the participants still believe in maintaining strong relations with the trade union because they felt the union stands even a better chance of knowing exactly what to do, since they have more knowledge about employee’s rights at work. However 70% of the participants indicated that when there is problem at work they prefer to seek for help from groups outside the organization e.g., Church groups, Muslim groups, families, and close friends. It was found that older groups tend to speak to their family members, church groups and close friends, while the younger generation prefer talking to their friends doing similar job outside the organization. Therefore, it is concluded that outside supports are important to black British clerical workers, as they help determine how each participant responds to psychological contract violation.

Economic Conditions

Here the participants are concerned about their financial well-being and whether the job is able to sustain their financial obligations. Economic conditions are more of a transactional contract and they are usually negotiable between the employer and trade union. About 70% of the participants interviewed had believed the present UK economic recession to be a significant societal factor that has influenced their decision to stay or leave the organization. It was found that while the flexible working scheme is a major influencing factor, also an individual’s economic condition is critical as it determines a participant’s life style, the type of house in which they live, and family well-being. Therefore, it can be concluded that the present economic condition is a major factor that influences and restrains participants’ response to the psychological contract violation.

Black Extended Family

Here this paper discussed the influence that extended family – cousins, nephews, brothers, sisters and uncles, grandparents, relatives, and aunts (Martin & Martin, 1980) has on the employee’s psychological contract. In the findings it was mentioned that when participants talk about extended family they are referring to their cultural obligations and that the obligations are mental programs from their past experience (Hofstede, 1983; Shimkin, Dennis &Frate, 1978). These obligations are embedded within the participant mind and so they are psychological. About 70% of the participants indicated that they benefited from the extended family association and as such had a duty to reciprocate that care to other members of the extended family. In contrast, if you do not feel obliged to care for your extended family, you might argue this is someone offering a favour? A Westerner would be right to think in that mind-set, since individuals in Europe get paid unemployment benefits when they become unemployed, but not in Africa, where an individual’s well-being depends on his/her extended family hand-outs (Dadi, 2012). Therefore, it can be concluded that the black extended family is a major factor that influences and constrains the black British clerical workers’ response to the psychological contract violation.

Educational Qualification

From the participants’ perspectives, the value of educational qualification cannot be measured. According to Mamman (1996, 2002), high educational attainment can improve a diverse employee’s ability to interact with the dominant group. There is a general consensus among older participants of the need to have a transferable skill or to undertake further training in other fields such as computer and customer services, so as to remain employable in the future in the event of losing their job. Today the job market is very competitive and while experience might be important, it is no longer a sufficient requirement to obtain job, therefore educational qualification is needed. However, it is important the right educational qualification is obtained, to be able to compete equally with other participant. The significance of an educational qualification was highlighted by one participant in the findings when she commented on seeing an advert for a senior clerical officer post requiring five years’ experience when she had almost fifteen. But she said that she was not given the job for lack of educational qualification.

Older people are more vulnerable to this type of disappointment, especially those that have spent their entire life working for one organization without any educational qualification. For older people the disadvantage is greater if their skills are not transferable or it is unrelated to the job they want to apply for. In contrast, the young people have an age advantages, because he/she can undergo further training to supplement present skills. Therefore, it is concluded that educational qualification is a moderating factor that can limit and constrain participant’s response to the psychological contract violation.