What is it about?
The springboard for my commentary is Godard’s (2014, p. 7) concern that “the growing psychologisation of employment relations means that there is less and less possibility for actually understanding these relations.” In other words, attention is being pulled away from conceptualizing the nature of the employment relationship. In the spirit of the provocation series, I will argue that this particular problem is perhaps even worse than Godard conveys because it is magnified by the turn away from human resource management (HRM) toward organizational behavior (OB) among many scholars and business schools, at least in North America.
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Why is it important?
Work and employment are very complicated subjects that can only be understood through rich, diverse multidisciplinary approaches to understanding a broad range of concepts, behaviors, practices, levels of analysis, outcomes, and institutions whose importance might only be apparent from particular perspectives. In other words, we need a multi-perspective field that not only brings together diverse scholarship, but also scholars. Moreover, meaning comes through difference. So students need to be presented with multiple perspectives, even if the goal is only a deeper understanding of one perspective. Consequently, when any approach crowds out others, we need to be concerned, and this is what appears to be happening with the psychologization of employment relations.
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This page is a summary of: The psychologisation of employment relations, alternative models of the employment relationship, and the OB turn, Human Resource Management Journal, January 2020, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/1748-8583.12274.
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