24 Mar 2022


Psychological Contract and Crisis Event

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Academic level: Master’s

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Psychological contract according to Denise Rousseau is the beliefs that are observed by an individual that regard the terms and conditions that observed in an exchange agreement between two parties. It is identified to emerge when the person it serves believes that the organization has a duty to reward their contributions. Though the organizations may not be aware of the psychological contracts, it is necessary that they provide an environment that will enable its creation. The managers and employers should be personally aware of the psychological contracts and respond to them accordingly. The psychological contract is seen to be subjective to the individuals and if violated may lead to a change in their belief (Rousseau, 1989). This theory on the created reciprocal agreement may also be used in times of crisis. This includes events such as hurricanes, fire event or a tornado as will be described in the following paper.

Relation to a Crisis Event

During the occurrence of an emergency event such as a hurricane, it is usually the government and numerous nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that will undertake the role of assisting the affected residents. The government and the various NGOs serve as the organization while the affected persons will serve as the employees. The victims of a hurricane will usually have significant beliefs of the ways in which the emergency response organizations are obligated to help them during this time they are in need. The two parties in this case will usually maintain a reciprocal relation whereby when the affected people conduct themselves in a particular way the response team will react in accordance to this action (Coyle-Shapiro & Parzefall, 2008).

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The affected residents of an area that has been affected by a hurricane will usually have to follow various protocols as a means of receiving the necessary help from the response team. The people will be required to move to a safe location where they can be accessed by the response team and register as victims of the emergency event (Tinker, 2013). It is required that the individuals affected should provide accurate information to the emergency response organizations as a means of ensuring the funds available are equally distributed to serve all the victims. As a result, the victims will have various beliefs of the ways the rescue team will assist them (Yoshiaki, 2015). This way they will receive the most appropriate help possible.

Communicating with Affected Residents

Communication is identified as one of the most significant means of ensuring the safety and the provision of help to the affected residents. For instance, the individuals will be required to report to a common area where they will be registered and served by the available personnel. The individuals in this case will be expected to effectively respond to the communication relayed by the response teams (Tinker, 2013). The individuals who fail to respond to this call will be believed to be missing and may not be able to receive the attention of the rescue team that has come to the identified area. The rescue team will offer an array of services to the victims. Therefore, it is important to clearly identify the various services that are offered to the victims.

The residents of the area will present themselves at different sections for assistance. As the residents are not accustomed to the area, it is important to communicate the different sections and the services that are offered. This may include health services, provision of food, alternatives for shelter during the time of the crisis and personal effects. The effective relay of messages from the managers at the ground to the affected parties is an effective means of ensuring the emergency event is effectively dealt with while realizing minimal casualties (Tinker, 2013). The assisting team should also have qualified personnel who can effectively advise the people on ways they can improve their homes and strategies to keep them safe from a similar event.

Effect of Psychological Contract

The use of psychological contract in the occurrence of natural disasters could have dire effects on the relationship between. The residents of the affected region could be requiring the rescue team to offer immediate and instant help as a result of the failure to prepare effectively for the disaster. Natural disasters have been identified to have the effect of raising numerous concerns by the affected members and the efforts of the government and the various institutions in providing help. Failure to achieve these expectations will result in the victims losing trust in the rescue team (Dabos & Rousseau, 2013).

The occurrence of disaster is identified as an event that can be foreseen though the exact date of occurrence may not be identified. The people in the affected region will therefore require significant knowledge on the ways of protecting themselves during it occurrence as a measure of avoiding potential danger in future. The personnel deployed by the government and NGOs should be knowledgeable and understanding of these expectations of the victims. This will enable them to respond effectively while providing them with information on the other areas they are unable to assist (Tinker, 2013).


The theory of psychological contracts is identified as an integral in cases where unwritten contracts are present between two parties. The case of a hurricane is noted to present the two parties that include the victims as the ‘employee’ and the rescue team as the ‘organization’. Through effective communication, psychological contracts are used to identify with the needs and expectation of the workers. This will be a guide to assisting the two parties to effectively handle the case in question.


Coyle-Shapiro, J. & Parzefall, M. (2008) Psychological Contracts . In: Cooper, Cary L. and Barling, Julian, (eds.) The SAGE handbook of organizational behavior. SAGE Publications, London, UK, pp. 17-34.

Dabos, G. E., & Rousseau, D. M. (2013). “Psychological Contracts and Informal Networks in Organizations: The Effects of Social Status and Local Ties.” Human Resource Management , 52(4), 485-510.

Rousseau, D. M. (1989). “Psychological and implied contracts in organizations.” Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal , 2: 121-139.

Tinker, T. L. (2013). “Communicating and managing change during extreme weather events: Promising practices for responding to urgent and emergent climate threats.” Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning , 6(4), 304-313.

Yoshiaki, Y. (2015). “Implied Contract: Birth and Rebirth.” Annals Of Business Administrative Science , 14(6), 309-321. doi:10.7880/abas.14.309

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