The Employment Relationship

Key Challenges for HR


  • Paul Sparrow, Ford Professor of International Human Resource Management, Manchester Business School, UK.
  • Cary L. Cooper, Professor of Organizational Psychology, Lancaster University, UK; Fellow of the British Psychological Society and the British Academy of Management.

Challenges Facing the Employment Relationship in Future Organizations addresses the issues of change within employee relationships resulting from the impact of factors such as:* international competitive pressures* technological change* changing individual expectations and behavioursThe new employment contract is analysed from inside and outside organizations and the issues are addressed from both a human resource management and work psychology perspective.This book:* Reviews the phenomenon of globalization, outlining the current impacts on the employment relationship and summarizing the assumed impacts on future work* Looks at the employment relationship from a labour market perspective and reviews the evidence on an increasing individualization of the employment relationship* Reviews work by psychologists on the changing psychological contract* Provides an overview of new forms of work organization, drawing attention to research on virtual organization and implications of e-enablement* Outlines the challenges to the employment relation on a global scale
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HR managers and students, MBA students taking HR options, MSc students taking HR options.


Book information

  • Published: July 2003
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-4941-4


"This is a plum pudding of a book which many practitioners will want to dip into: a stimulating read which, if it cannot offer definite answers, usefully helps to reformulate many of the questions" Mike Emmott, CIPD adviser, employee relations "This book unites the insights and knowledge of two prominent scholars into a fascinating mix of insights, data and prediction. They make a formidable partnership ...and dissect with precision the changing nature of work, the challenges of the new employment relationship and the impact both on individuals and organisations... a thought-provoking, timely and beautifully crafted book that will be extremely useful in enabling managers and HR specialists to build a conceptual understanding of the theme in order to navigate the path of this changing relationship, and to academics and students as they attempt to understand the complexity of this crucial issue." Professor Lynda Gratton, London Business School "Sparrow and Cooper are two of the most widely-published authorities in the world on the "employment relationship". The book is rigorously researched, laced with interesting examples, and extremely well written. They perform an outstanding job of analysing this topic and advancing our understanding of its applicability... The book will be of intense interest and use to academics and practitioners alike in their attempts to understand and improve individual and organizational behaviour and effectiveness." Professor Randall S. Schuler, Rutgers University and GSBA Zurich "This book successfully tackles a tough task.... Sparrow and Cooper provide a data-rich, readable account of the overarching trend toward flexibility in employment, providing research, examples and international perspectives to highlight the prevailing trend toward individualization of work. Proponents of evidence-based management practice will find in this book a thorough yet pragmatic source of insight into the challenges employers and workers face in fostering employment relations that serve their many needs and interests. Fascinating, grounded, and readable". Professor Denise Rousseau, Carnegie Mellon University "Sparrow and Cooper provide an extensive analysis of the trends impacting the employment relationship, as well as important implications for how to manage this relationship to achieve organizational success. They explore the past, present, and future of the employment relationship in a way that is a must reading for any organizational decision maker who hopes to create competitive advantage through people." Professor Patrick Wright, Cornell University

Table of Contents

Challenges facing the employment relationship; The psychological contract; The changing structure of employment; Job stability and employment outcomes; Quality of the employment relationship: trust and job security; Work and career transitions; Individualization of Human Resource Management; Managing the new individual- Organization linkages; Work-life balance; New generations: New expections and new problems?