Free agency and the organization

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Title: Free agency and the organization
Author: Chalmers, Gregg
Abstract: Corporate downsizing has become a common occurrence in today's business world. As a result, many employers and employees no longer believe and cannot sustain the concept of lifetime employment. Several views on the breaking of this psychological contract and its implications on workplace loyalty and trust are offered from both the manufacturing and service industry's perspectives. The way we live and work is changing at an alarming rate. Rapid technological advancements enable employees to work from remote locations while communicating with their organization and coworkers in real-time. These break-through capabilities bring new challenges to the organization and the employee. In addition, the expectations of the employee have increased to include increased flexibility and movement. The mobile nature of the employee introduces new challenges and opportunities that may remain unrealized. The rise of free agency is impacting organizations. This concept changes the way we view the organization, the employee, work itself and the relations between them. Understanding the changing needs of the workforce is central to managing employee retention and key to success of the business. Employee retention contributes to the profitability of the organization and employees are the organizations most valuable assets. Organizations can potentially prosper while employing a workforce of free agents, however, the systems, processes, organizational culture and employee-employer relations must be transformed to ensure employee-employer cohesiveness. Free Agency 3 This qualitative study investigates the elements collected from nine face-to-face interviews (open-ended questions). These elements are believed to affect organizational culture, employee retention, job satisfaction, organizational effectiveness and profitability. Through the process of evaluating interviews observations, phenomenological theory, inductive reasoning and analysis, we interpret the findings in a logical form. This is the first step to understanding the concept of free agency and the impact of the concept on the organization. The outcome of the study should reflect that the American workforce might be changing faster than the organization's ability to transform. Organizations that prosper will be those that recognize the need for change and that can successfully transform their organization to nurture free agency. Companies that fail or refuse to change will fail to maximize potential profits and will struggle to attract, attain and maintain key employees.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/14154
Date: 2001

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