When the Ties That Bind Break

By Sorohan, Erica Gordon | Training & Development, February 1994 | Go to article overview

When the Ties That Bind Break


Sorohan, Erica Gordon, Training & Development


OUT WITH THE OLD PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT. IN WITH THE NEW NONDEPENDENT TRUST. ACCORDING TO WILLIAM MORIN, IT'S TIME FOR EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES TO BUILD A BOND BASED ON HONESTY AND RESPECT, INSTEAD OF FRAGILE PROMISES.

The employer/employee contract is broken. And according to William J. Morin, that's good news.

Actually, it's not so much that the contract is broken, explains Morin, the chair and CEO of consulting firm Drake Beam Morin. More accurately, the traditional bond between employers and employees rested upon a premise that has been revealed as unworkable. And that revelation clears the way for a new bond based on the kind of trust that emanates from honesty instead of piecrust promises--those easily made and easily broken.

Under the old bond--the so-called psychological contract--docile workers pledged allegiance to their employers in exchange for a promise of job security. Morin says that for many years, he himself lived the life that contract dictated, frequently uprooting his family for corporate relocations he never questioned.

"I grew up that way"--accepting the axiom that professional success meant "doing the boss's bidding, playing the game, and getting promoted every two years." But companies never were geared up to take care of people, says Morin, whose company is the world's largest outplacement firm.

"You cannot have companies become socialist entities," he says. "No one will ever take care of us forever."

That doesn't mean wise companies don't make substantial commitments to their employees. To illustrate, Morin quotes General Electric CEO Jack Welch, who asserts, "GE doesn't just exist for return on investment to shareholders, but it also exists for the fulfillment of employees."

"I think that is the major shift that management must make," says Morin--a shift that requires "not only a changing of the guard, but also changing the affinity, style, and posture of management in the United States."

Morin says that despite decades of management fads ("Who really believed in open-door management?"), U.S. businesses essentially have practiced military, chain-of-command management. But, he asserts, only through broad-scale changes in leadership can corporate America begin to repair the damage to employee morale inflicted by the widespread slashing of payrolls that began in the late 1980s--damage that stems as much from the way companies execute layoffs as from the layoffs themselves.

Usury management

Morin traces the economic downturn that precipitated the still-ongoing wave of cuts to the financial excesses of the 1980s. That's when, Morin asserts, "We stopped producing goods and services and started producing money."

Consider, for instance, how executive compensation climbed to dizzying heights with seemingly little relationship to company performance, he says.

"It's incredible to me that America allowed people--primarily men--because of egomania, to purchase companies they knew nothing about and had no plans to improve," Morin says. Simply allowing "whoever has the bucks to buy anything |he or she wants~ reduces any responsibility to society--in other words, the workers."

These wrenching changes have caused personal and professional upheaval for many trainers and HRD specialists, Morin notes. When budgets are slashed, trainers and HRD specialists often are among the first casualties, he observes. And those who keep their jobs in pared-down human resource departments must shoulder extra responsibilities, often becoming less effective. Morin contends that the aftermath of what he terms the "usury management" of the eighties is reflected not only in the painful contraction of the business sector, but also in all facets of society, including the spread of poverty among children, the degraded condition and effectiveness of public schools, and the gaping holes in the social safety net.

Forging an honest agreement

"What really happened is the value system eroded," Morin asserts. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

When the Ties That Bind Break
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.