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Workforce dynamics studied

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Assistant Professor of Management SiHyun Kim talks about interpersonal dynamics at work, Tuesday in the President’s Dining Room. Kim’s study examined “Psychological Contract Congruence,” or when an employer and an employee view each other in the same way. Such relationships boost morale and productivity. Kim’s lecture was part of the weekly Faculty Lecture Series. / photo by Cierra Boess

Assistant Professor of Management SiHyun Kim talks about interpersonal dynamics at work, Tuesday in the President’s Dining Room. Kim’s study examined “Psychological Contract Congruence,” or when an employer and an employee view each other in the same way. Such relationships boost morale and productivity. Kim’s lecture was part of the weekly Faculty Lecture Series. / photo by Cierra Boess

Deborah Lee
Staff Writer

SiHyun Kim, assistant professor of management, addressed how dedication varies within the workforce, between companies and their employees because of conflict in how they view their roles, Tuesday in the President’s Dining Room.

About 20 students and faculty attended Kim’s presentation “Psychological Contract Congruence and Commitment.”

She said the phrase psychological contract congruence describes an employer viewing an employee the same way the employee sees the employer.

By having this relationship, a company or organization could function at maximum capacity.

“If we change the way we think and pursue our passions, then perhaps we will be happier in our careers and find companies we admire, while employers will it easier to work with those that are more compliant with being there in the field,” Jane Smith-Benites, sophomore accounting major, said.

Kim said one’s perception of their obligation or dedication to a company depends on how the employer or employee feels towards their job and the work they do.

“One’s level of obligation is not guaranteed to be the same since an employee’s level of commitment will not always be the same as an employer’s level of commitment,” Kim said.

Kim called this a misfit and defines it as expectation from both parties not being met. This research was aimed to retain employees in the workplace.

Kim attributed retention rates to identifying the types of obligations, such as having a written document like a contract, observing office culture and having direct communication between workers.

Kim surveyed American and Korean demographics, both yielding the same result. A strong relationship occurs when both the employer and employee were on the same page in terms of expectations and obligations of the job.

The data for the research was collected using surveys and included age, sex and education to classify the different age ranges and the relationships each group holds.

Kim stated that psychological contract congruence is the key to understanding employee values due to the subjective views each person takes when employees and employers become accustomed to a new environment or culture.

“Sometimes it doesn’t tell the whole story since employment as a convenience may also be a factor to consider,” Dean of the College of Business and Public Management Ibrahim Helou said.

Kim plans to conduct more studies to focus on possible generational differences and cultural differences as well.

“People are more concerned with maintaining their job and making money to make ends meet, rather than dedicating themselves to the company or organization,” Smith-Benites said.

Deborah Lee can be reached at deborah.lee@laverne.edu.

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