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Perceived Organizational Support within the Work Place

MGB200 Managing People

Assessment 1 – Case Analysis

Brooke Arbon (n9705546)

Semester 2 2017

Tutor’s Name: Adbul Alshimai - Tutorial time: 5:00PM

Word count: 1, 418

Perceived Organisational Support

Literature Review

Perceived organisational support (POS), involves the extent in which employees feel an organisation values their contributions and cares for their personal well-being (Kim, Y., Eisenberger, R., & Baik, K, 2016). The Perceived organisational support theory is based on the norm of reciprocity and social exchange theory i.e. the he gives and she takes/returns theory (Eisenberger, Fasolo, & Davis-LaMastro, 1990; Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchison, & Sowa, 1986).  Eisenberger and his colleagues have argued that employees develop generalized beliefs about the extent to which an organisation is supportive of their employees (Eisenberger et al.,1990). However, more recently, Meyer, Allen, and Gellatly (1990) have shown that organisational ‘‘dependability’’ enhances affective commitment.

Eisenberger et al. (1990) observed a distinct positive relationship between organisational commitment and the extent to which employees believe the organisation provides ad supports, values their contribution, and cares about their well-being (Eisenberger et al.,1990). Further academics studies suggest that an employees' perception concerning the organization's ability to achieve its goals and objectives may enhance these relationships by more effectively fulfilling socio-emotional needs (Kurtessis et al., 2017). Evidence-based research consistently shows that Perceived organisational support is linked to employees’ increased psychological well-being and performance combined with reduced absenteeism and turnover (Colakoglu, U., Culha, O., & Atay, H., 2010).  Within the sales sector, many studies have been conducted to further understand POS and employee’s motivation to achieve. DeConinck & Johnson’s study examined the effects of three dimensions of organizational justice of a salesperson perceived organizational support (POS), perceived supervisor support (PSS), and actual salesperson turnover (performance) in a business-to-business setting (DeConinck, B., & Johnson, T., 2009). The study concluded that perceived supervisor support is an indirect predictor of turnover intentions through perceived organizational support and performance. Organizational commitment mediated the relationship between perceived organizational support and turnover intentions (DeConinck, B., & Johnson, T., 2009).

Following from the Perceived organisational support theory, Rousseau (1989) stated that a psychological contract is the foundation of the employment relationship (Rousseau, 1989). An employees’ perception about an organizations support can often be based on how an employee responds to a physiological contract between the organisation and the employee. Derived from the Perceived organisational support theory (Eisenberger et al.,1990), current definitions of psychological contract are influenced by the work of Rousseau (1989, 1990). A psychological contract best describes the perceptions of an employee regarding the reciprocal obligations between themselves and their employing organization, for example, the organization's obligations of training and development, in exchange for the employee's obligations of hard work (Rousseau, 1989). These obligations are based on perceptions held by the employee regarding promises they believe were made to them (Morrison and Robinson, 1997). Perceived obligations can be both concrete (e.g. pay) and abstract (e.g. security) elements of the employment relationship and may change over time.

Researchers suggest that psychological contracts help to clearly define the relationship between employees and their organizations (Argyris, 1960; Rousseau, 1989). In particular, a psychological contract specifies what employees believe they owe their employing organization and what they believe they are owed in return (Rousseau, 1995). The central element in the psychological contract is the employee's perception that the employing organization will live up to its promises and commitments. When an employee believes that the employing organization has failed to fulfill its promises, commitments or obligations, then the employee will experience a psychological contract breach (Rousseau, 1995). A psychological contract breach defined by Morrison & Robinson, (1997)   is an employee's cognition that he/she has received less than was promised from the employing organization.

Hess & Jepsen’s (2009) study on the outcomes of psychological contract breach’s, examined whether the job outcome of a psychological contract breach varied based on the perception type of psychological contract an employee had. They found a positive relationship between the breach of psychological contract and the employee’s intention to leave the organization, which is another widely researched attitudinal job outcome (Hess & Jepsen, 2009). After a psychological contract breach, employees are often to be less willing to exert extra effort on behalf of the organization and hold a lower desire to remain employees of that organization (De Hauw & De Vos, 2010).


I have currently worked within organisation ‘X’ for 6 years. Within the organisation that I currently work for, internal promotion and preparation for future leaders is seen to be an important part of employee development. All employees wishing to step into higher roles (ie. Shift supervisor, duty manager or store manager) must complete an extensive training booklet that covers all the features of the higher roles, before stepping up. Employees within the organisation believed that the employing organization would live up to its promises and commitments of career progression. Towards the end of 2016 I was asked to quickly step into a Duty manager role at different store for the next 6 months. During my time as Duty manager, I quickly worked my way through my future leaders book as I learnt the ropes of the role. Once the role was permanently filled I stepped back into my old position. At the time, I agreed with the regional manager that my efforts as a Duty manager would be heavily considered for future progression. The regional manager assured me that my efforts have not gone unseen and that the company would ensure my future leaders book was completed to ensure I was eligible for future higher roles.  After being within the company for 6 years, I believed that my organisation was supportive of their employees regardless of their position and offered job progression even after they have stepped down. I was under the impression company ‘X’ would continue my employee development through the future leaders booklet. However, once I completed my 6 months, I stepped down and went back to my original store. Any efforts to continue my training was declined and was told ‘we don’t have time to do this’ and ‘you won’t be needing this anymore, since you stepped down’. At the time, I believe that a discrepancy between what I was promised and what actually occurred. I experienced a very clear inconsistency between what my manager assured and what actually occurred. After what I thought was a breach in the psychological contract, as an employee I became less willing to exert extra effort on behalf of the organization and held a lower desire to remain employees of that organization. Within 12 months I was no longer an employee to ‘Company’.


Firstly, companies such as ‘Company X’ should implement supportive workforce services that are discretionary rather than just doing the things they are required to do (Eisenberger et al. 2016). Introducing a Training and Career progression manager that handles the future leaders and ensures all promise of progression is for-filled. This ensure that Higher-level managers (regional managers) enhance POS when they provide supportive policies and HR practices, whereas supervisors (i.e. Training manager) enhances POS through helpful and considerate actions (Kurtessis et al., 2017). For example, if a Training manager were to handle the situation, she would have been held accountable for promising career progression but failing to do so. A training manager would have a greater grasp on individual’s progression and know how to continue POS for employees whom step down within the organisation. Having a Training manager that could discus individual career progression would enable employees to reassess their perceptions of the psychological contracts to ensure employees don’t feel let down or perceive that a breach of the psychological contracts has occurred.

Secondly, higher level management needs to ensure fair and equitable methods in the making, monitoring and enforcement of all management practices. This includes:

o Acknowledge individuals who achieve their goals fairly.

o Demonstrate that they consider individuals’ goals and values.

o Show that they are willing to extend themselves to help employees be successful in performing their jobs.

o Demonstrate that they care about individuals’ well-being equally and fairly.

In my case, I believe that the organisation knowingly used my perceived organization commitment to manipulate me into not only, believing they cared about my progression individually but used this to offered me the position. They showed no signed of monitoring myself in the position and assessing if I was achieving the goals set and further, didn’t enforce the belief that the organisation values their contributions and cares for their personal well-being. Therefore, I would recommend based on psychological contract research combined with my own experience that, mangers ensure fair and equitable methods in the making, monitoring and enforcement of all management practices.

Reference List;

Argyris, C. (1960). Understanding organizational behavior. Homewood, IL: The Dorsey Press. 

Conway, N, & Briner, R. (2009). Fifty years of psychological contract research: what do we know and what are the main challenges? International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 24: 71-130.


DeConinck, J. B., & Johnson, J. T. (2009). The effects of perceived supervisor support, perceived organizational support, and organizational justice on turnover among salespeople. The Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 29(4)

Eisenberger, R., Huntington, R., Hutchison, S., & Sowa, D. (1986). Perceived organizational support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 500-507.

Eisenberger, R., Fasolo, P., & Davis-LaMastro, V. (1990). Perceived organizational support and employee diligence, commitment and innovation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 51–59.

Eisenberger, R., Malone, G. P., Presson, W. D. (2016). Optimizing perceived organizational support to enhance employee engagement. SHRM-SIOP Science of HR Series.

Guzzo, R. A., Noonan, K. A., & Elron, E. (1994). Expatriate managers and the psychological contract. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 617-626.

Kurtessis, J. N., Eisenberger, R., Ford, M. T., Buffardi, L., Stewart, K. A., & Adis, C. S. (2017). Perceived organizational support: A meta-analytic evaluation of organizational support theory. Journal of Management, 1854-1884.

Kim, K. Y., Eisenberger, R., & Baik, K. (2016). Perceived organizational support and affective organizational commitment: Moderating influence of perceived organizational competence. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 37(4), 558-583.

Morrison, E.W. and Robinson, S.L. ( 1997 ), " When employees feel betrayed: a model of how psychological contract violation develops ",Academy of Management Review , Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 226 - 256 .

Rhoades, L., & Eisenberger, R. (2002). Perceived organizational support: A review of the literature. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 698-714.

Rodwell, J., Ellershaw, J., & Flower, R. (2015). Fulfill psychological contract promises to manage in-demand employees. Personnel Review, 44(5), 689-701. Retrieved from

Rousseau, D. M. (1989), " Psychological and implied contracts in organizations ",Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal , Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 121 - 139 . 

Rousseau, D. M. (1990), " New hire perceptions of their own and their employer's obligations: a study of psychological contracts",Journal of Organizational Behavior , Vol. 11 No. 5, pp. 389 – 400.

Rousseau, D. M. (1995). Psychological contracts in organizations: Understanding written and unwritten agreements. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

Rousseau, D. M., & Schalk, R. 2000. Learning from cross-national perspectives on psychological contracts. In D. Rousseau & R. Schalk (Eds.), Psychological contracts in employment: Cross-national perspectives (pp. 283-304). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rousseau, D. M. (2004). Psychological contracts in the workplace: Understanding the ties that motivate. Academy of Management Executive, 18(1): 120-127.

Tekleab, A. G., Takeuchi, R., & Taylor, M. S. (2005). Extending the chain of relationships among organizational justice, social exchange, and employee reactions: The role of contract violations. Academy of Management Journal, 48, 146-157.

Zhao, H., Wayne, S. J., Glibkowski, B. C. &Bravo, J. (2007). The impact of psychological contract breach on work-related outcomes: a meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 60, 647-80.

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