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Individual Employee Voice: Renegotiation and Performance Management in Public Services

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  • David Marsden

Abstract

Periodically, the 'zone of acceptance' within which management may use its authority to direct employees' work needs to be adapted to the changing needs of organisations. This article focuses especially on the non-codified elements of employees' work, such as those commonly the subject of 'psychological contracts', and considers the role of individual employee voice in the process of adaptation, and how it relates to more familiar forms of collective employee voice. It is argued that the process can be analysed as a form of integrative bargaining, and applies the framework from Walton and McKersie. Employee voice enters into this process by virtue of consideration of the respective goals and preferences of both parties. The element of employee voice may be very weak when new work goals and priorities are imposed unilaterally by management, and they may be strong when full consideration is given to the changing needs of both parties. Two examples from work on performance management in the public services are used to illustrate these processes. The article concludes with a discussion of the ways in which collective employee voice may help to reinforce individual level integrative negotiation. The article seeks to contribute to the recent work on why employers choose employee voice mechanisms by broadening the range of policies that should be taken into account, and in particular looking at the potential of performance management as one such form.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0752.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0752

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

Related research

Keywords: employee voice; performance management; renegotiation of employment contracts; psychological contracts;

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Cited by:
  1. David Marsden, 2010. "Individual Voice in Employment Relationships: A Comparison Under Different Collective Voice Regimes," CEP Discussion Papers dp1006, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Almudena CaƱibano & David Marsden, 2009. "Participation in Organisations: Economic Approaches," CEP Discussion Papers dp0945, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. David Marsden & Almudena CaƱibano, 2009. "Participation in organisations: economic approaches," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25167, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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