Social Exchange Concept as a Methodological Framework for Employment Relations Analysis
23 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2015
Date Written: March 17, 2014
The goal of the paper is to suggest the methodological framework of social exchange for analysis of employment relations. Our literature review revealed confusion concerning the definition of social exchange in the context of labor processes and employee-organization relations. The latter are complex and imply all elements of reciprocal and negotiated exchange as well as economic and social forms of exchange. We focus on rules and means of exchange as well as power-dependence relations during the work process. The concept of “psychological contracts” that embodies the social exchange approach in empirical studies is also under consideration. Methodological limitations of current concepts and measures based on exchange methodology are discussed. The authors argue that deepening and specification of key parameters of social exchange approach could be very analytically productive in sociological research of employment relations seen as employee-employer mutual obligations.
Keywords: social exchange theory, employment relations, social interactions, psychological contracts, employee-organization relations.
JEL Classification: M54, M51, J59.
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