University of Twente Student Theses

Login

Long distance relationship: out of sight, out of mind?: influence of distance working on employees' perceptions of the employee-organization relationship

Valk, Mariëlle (2012) Long distance relationship: out of sight, out of mind?: influence of distance working on employees' perceptions of the employee-organization relationship.

[img] PDF
1MB
Abstract:Recent work environment is undergoing a lot of changes, which pressurizes the employee-organization relationship. As a consequence, organizations on the one hand increasingly want to work on higher levels of this relationship, realizing its value due to desired outcomes. On the other hand, employees’ view on the employee-organization relationship and corresponding needs might have changed due to changed expectations on the psychological contract, which bases the terms and conditions of this relationship. Existing literature on the employee-organization relationship however does not incorporate the implications of this development from an employee perspective. One of the crucial aspects in changing organizational forms concerns distance working; instead of working at a centralized location of an organization, employees increasingly work at distance due to technical developments and changing needs in the way people want to work. This research therefore explored the influence of distance working on employees’ perceptions of the employee-organization relationship. Two sub questions were leading: 1) the matter by which the organization gets personified by employees and possible differences among distance workers and non-distance workers in this regard; and 2) the extent to which employees are in need of an expansion of the employee-organization relationship and possible differences among distance workers and non-distance workers in this regard. A qualitative study has been executed within a large health-care organization. In-depth interviews have been conducted with employees working intramural (within a care home, at a centralized location) and employees working extramural (providing home care within self-managing work teams, at distance), using both direct questions and projective techniques. The results seems to show that there is a significant difference in the extent to which non-distance and distance workers perceive the organization to have a human face. Non-distance workers seem to include organizational members in their perception of the employee-organization relationship and the organization itself eventually is embodied by higher management. Distance workers, however, seem to have a far more abstract image of the organization. They perceive their relationship with the organization far less personal, not including any organizational members. Besides their perceptions on the employee-organization relationship and the parties involved, distance and non-distance workers seem to have entirely different needs with regard to this relationship. According to distance workers, the organization should take merely the role of a facilitator, limiting the relationship to a more transactional level. In contrast, distance workers seem to want the organization to function as an interlocutor, establishing a mutual relationship which merely focuses on relational aspects. The results provide an understanding of the role particular organizational members play in the employee-organization relationship and the matter to which this relationship then differs from other employment relationships. Organizations are further able to adapt their policies concerning the intercourse with organizational members more specifically to the needs of diverse groups of employees. However, some side notes have to be made with regard to the generalization of the results due to the specific context and sample on which the conclusions of the research are based.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61682
Export this item as:BibTeX
EndNote
HTML Citation
Reference Manager

 

Repository Staff Only: item control page