Engaged but disengaged: exploring engagement and psychological contract after downsizing in the retail banking of the financial services industry in Nigeria, with specific reference to downsizing survivors

Vivian Ikechukwu-Ifudu, Jan Myers

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    Abstract

    The purpose of this paper is to explore non-managerial employees’ experiences, perceptions, and retrospective sensemaking of downsizing/consolidation. It considers impacts on key elements of individual-organisation psychological contract: trust, job satisfaction and specifically employee engagement. As such, this paper is an investigation into context-specific imposed change and addresses the question ‘To what extent does psychological contract violation impact on employee engagement’? The qualitative and exploratory study on which this paper is based includes semi-structured interviews with twenty-six non-managerial employees from four major banks, all of whom are survivors of major restructuring and recent consolidation of banks in the Nigerian context. The interviews provide rich data and while they cannot be seen to be representative of survivor experience, the findings are consistent with related research linked to engagement and psychological contract and raise new issues regarding the former in relation to levels of engagement in the work place. There is evidence to suggest that the concept of psychological contract and organisational justice is weak in this context. The results conclude that in a downsizing exercise the psychological contract of employees will be breached and this will lead to disengaged and disinterested employees at work. Interviews are with a small number of employees and while providing rich data, they cannot be seen to be representative of survivor experience. However, the findings are to some extent consistent with related research linked to psychological contract and engagement. Whenever there is a restructuring, employees’ attitude to work changes and this affects both employees and the organisation as employees become less engaged and no longer committed. It can be seen as a warning sign for HR practitioners/managers to try, if possible, to re-build engagement before it develops into something ‘beyond repair’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2016
    EventUFHRD Conference - Manchester Metropolitan University
    Duration: 10 Jun 2016 → …

    Conference

    ConferenceUFHRD Conference
    Period10/06/16 → …

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