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BREAKING A PROMISE NEVER MADE

Track: CASE

Keywords: Psychological contracts, employee motivation

Research in organizational behavior has focused extensively on how to motivate employees to ensure optimum performance. Although several factors have been identified as being responsible for increasing or lowering employee motivation, this case highlights the role of psychological contracts in employee motivation. The case presents the story of Rococo LLC’s founder, Phil Young, and Chen Smith, one of his key employees. While Phil felt that Chen was well remunerated financially, Chen had a different opinion as he had stumbled upon a copy of the contract between Rococo and Care Solutions, the client on whose site Chen was based. The result was a perceived breach of a psychological contract between him and Phil, which consequently led to Chen’s lack of motivation and determination to withhold valuable information from Phil. The case is intended to help students of organizational behavior at the senior undergraduate level or Masters level understand theoretical concepts of psychological contracts, and practically manage such related issues in workplace settings. While the case is based on an actual occurrence, names and places have been completely changed to preserve privacy. The case was written based on a combination of a field interview and telephone interview.

Author(s):

YEMISI AWOTOYE - yeawo1@morgan.edu
MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

NATHAN AUSTIN - nathan.austin@morgan.edu
MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

 

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