Choice of employee-organization relationship: Influence of external and internal organizational factors
We initially pose the paradox that employers facing competitive environments simultaneously desire both flexibility in the employment and termination of employees and flexibility of operations afforded by committed employees. Utilizing previous conceptualizations in the literature, two general forms of the employment relationship (i.e., “job-focused" and "organization-focused'') that can achieve one or the other of these over-arching objectives are described. By drawing on several theoretical perspectives such as strategic choice, resource dependence, equity theory, and institutional theory, the paper identifies factors that can influence employers' preferences for the type of employee-organization relationship. These factors are categorized into two sets, those internal to it, and specific propositions are advanced that link particular factors with their effect on different forms of employment relationship. The paper concludes with overall implications of the propositions and suggestions for future research priorities.