The Psychological Contract: Managing the Joining-Up Process

by John Kotter



A growing number of organizations in recent years have been reporting problems that center around getting the new man, often a recent college graduate, on board. This article is concerned with the process of assimilating new employees into an organization, which sociologists call the joining-up process. All of the above incidents are symptomatic of problems in this process. Early experiences in an organization can have a great effect on a person's career. The joining-up process, which determines these experiences, must be carefully managed. The quality of the management of the joining-up process will effect two major outcomes, the cost of getting new people on board and keeping them in the firm, and the level of productivity, commitment, innovativeness, and so on of people when they get on board. Unfortunately in many organizations this process is mismanaged, or not managed at all. The costs of mismanagement are very high. The payoff for a particular organization will depend upon its awareness of the importance of this process, and upon the creativity with which it systematically examines its unique situation and derives solutions for better management of this process.

California Management Review

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