1st Edition

The Employment Relationship A Psychological Perspective

By Peter Herriot Copyright 2001

    The Employment Relationship presents a controversial perspective on an area hitherto dominated by industrial relation experts and radical sociological theorists. Exploring some of the metaphors commonly used to describe the employment relationship, Peter Herriot argues that it is often their dark rather than their bright side which best expresses how employees really feel. Human resources sometimes feel like human discards! The main culprits in this situation, he suggests, are the top managers who fail to treat employment as a relationship and employees as individuals. He concludes that management rhetoric must be replaced by real dialogue and points to three issues where this is most crucial: employee compliance, contractual inequalities and the need for organisational change. The Employment Relationship will make essential reading for all managers and occupational psychologists. It will also be of interest to students of work psychology, human resource management or organisational behaviour.

    Introduction; Part 1 Mixed metaphors; Chapter 1 Family and Feud; Chapter 2 Crusade and Play; Chapter 3 Contract and Jungle; Chapter 4 Club and Outsider; Chapter 5 Resource and Discard; Chapter 6 Democracy and Dictatorship; Chapter 7 Part nership and Conflict; Chapter 8 Customer and Rip-off; Introduction to Part s 2 and 3; Part 2 Relationship psychology; Chapter 9 Relationships and the self; Chapter 10 Cultures, relationships and selves; Chapter 11 Individual differences and employment; Chapter 12 Organisations and employment; Part 3 Employment dialogues; Chapter 13 The compliance dialogue; Chapter 14 The difference dialogue; Chapter 15 The change dialogue; Chapter 16 The dialogue dialogue;


    Peter Herriot is a well-known commentator on organisations and employment. After a career as an organisational psychologist, he has more recently been engaged in consultancy and research and he is currently Editor of The European Journal of Work and Organisaitonal Psychology. His previous publications include New Deals, (1995, with Carole Pemberton) and Trust and Transition, (1998, with Wendy Hirsh and Peter Reilly).

    'This is a serious text that introduces a fascinating way of looking at employment relationships ... Herriot examines relationships from the perception of the individual, and sets these in the context of the organisation and the organisational culture. Whilst this is done in a rigorous and erudite way, the content remains accessible due to the author's elegant presentation style. His interpretations ring true as he delves into the metaphorical framework he constructs ... for the serious reader it is well worth buying.' - Julie Hyde, MIMgt, in Professional Manager

    'In many ways this book fills a gap, a great chasm in fact, the ideas are fresh and expressed in a lively fashion. The chapters are full of useful insights into relationships at work, which practising managers will find helpful.' - Shaun Tyson, Cranfield University School of Management

    'This is a great book that manages to condense a remarkable range and depth of literature from industrial relations, human resource management and social psychology.' - Paul Sparrow, Sheffield University Management School