The Employment Relationship

1st Edition

Key Challenges for HR

Authors: Paul Sparrow Cary L. Cooper
Paperback ISBN: 9780750649414
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 2nd July 2003
Page Count: 288


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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 behaviours

The 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

Key Features

  • Illustrates the connection between HRM policies/practices and work psychology
  • Provides an up to date summary of existing research, knowledge and debate
  • Considers a wide range of factors that impact on change within employee relationships


HR managers and students, MBA students taking HR options, MSc students taking HR options.

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?


No. of pages:
© Butterworth-Heinemann 2004
Paperback ISBN:

About the Author

Paul Sparrow

Paul R. Sparrow is the Ford Professor of International Human Resource Management and Academic Director Executive Education at Manchester Business School. He graduated from the University of Manchester with a BSc (Hons) Psychology and the University of Aston with an MSc Applied Psychology and was then sponsored by Rank Xerox to study the impacts of ageing on the organisation for his PhD at Aston University. From 1982 to 1984 he was a freelance consultant principally involved in projects relating to changing patterns of work. He then became a Research Fellow at Aston University and a Senior Research Fellow at Warwick Business School researching emerging human resource strategies in the computer and retail sectors. In 1988 he joined PA Consulting Group working as a Consultant and finally a Principal Consultant. In 1991 he returned to academia and took up a Lectureship in Organisational Behaviour at Manchester Business School, moving to Sheffield University to take up a Readership in 1995, and then a Chair in 1997. He returned to Manchester Business School in 2001. He has written and edited a number of books including European human resource management in transition, Designing and achieving competency, Human resource management: the new agenda and The competent organization: a psychological analysis of the strategic management process. He has also published several articles concerning the future of work, human resource strategy, management competencies, the psychology of strategic management, international human resource management and cross-cultural management. He is associated with the ESRC Centre for Organisation and Innovation, at the Institute of Work Psychology; Sheffield; the Center for Global Strategic Human Resource Management, Rutgers University; and Centre for Research into the Management of Expatriates, Cranfield University. He was Editor of the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology from 1998-2003.

Affiliations and Expertise

Ford Professor of International Human Resource Management, Manchester Business School, UK.

Cary L. Cooper

Cary Cooper, CBE, is currently Professor Cary Cooper, CBE, is Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University Management School. He is also President of the British Academy of Management. He is the author of over 80 books (on occupational stress, women at work and industrial and organizational psychology), has written over 300 scholarly articles for academic journals, and is a frequent contributor to national newspapers, TV and radio. He is currently Founding Editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior, co-Editor of the medical journal Stress Medicine; Co-Editor of the International Journal of Management Review. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, The Royal Society of Arts, The Royal Society of Medicine and the Royal Society of Health. Professor Cooper is the President of the British Academy of Management, is a Companion of the (British) Institute of Management and one of the first UK based Fellows of the (American) Academy of Management (having also won the 1998 Distinguished Service Award for his contribution to management science from the Academy of Management). Professor Cooper is the Editor (jointly with Professor Chris Argyris of Harvard Business School) of the international scholarly Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management (12 volume set). He has been an advisor to the World Health Organisation, ILO, and recently published a major report for the EU's European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Work Conditions on "Stress Prevention in the Workplace".

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Organizational Psychology, Lancaster University, UK; Fellow of the British Psychological Society and the British Academy of Management. Lancaster University, UK


"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 individual