Citizenship or Careerism?

Mary Landen


Trends in organisation and in organisational activity, which have resulted in increasing dependence on the discretionary efforts, initiatives and judgements of employees, have left management with the problem of how to ensure that such discretion is exercised appropriately in the service of the organisation. The Human Resource Management approach, relying as it does on strategic integration and underpinned by a value-driven approach seemed to be an ideal mechanism, particularly when designed as encouragement to commitment via social identification and a shared sense of meaning. If culture is the enacted manifestation of organisational identity, management aspiration is that the 'good' employee is one who will learn the cultural reality and enact it appropriately. Expectations of 'good' employees are that they will exhibit not only the appropriate competence, but will also possess the necessary commitment, via identification and emotional engagement, so that they can be trusted to regulate themselves, take decisions that are in the best interests of the organisation and even go that extra mile for the company and the customer. This paper gives attention to such expectations and explores their implications.


personnel management; employees; culture; commitment (psychology); group identity

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