The impact of employment equity regulations on psychological contracts in South Africa
International Journal of Human Resource Management
Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
This article will show the impact of employment equity legislation on the psychological employment contracts of the three main employee groupings in South African society. This study is important in that it fills the gap in the literature that identifies labour market regulations as an important shaping influence on the psychological contract. More than 500 managers from across South African industry and from all ethnic groups were surveyed to identify differences in psychological contracts and attitudes towards the social transformation regulations. We found that the legislation has impacted differentially on the three groupings mainly in terms of their loyalty to stay with their organizations, the focus on their career development in terms of the external labour market and the degree to which they felt they had been affected by the legislation. Additionally we find that the perceived linkage between job satisfaction and labour turnover is significantly weakened by labour market legislation in the case of the beneficiaries of the legislation, but that this may not be the case for those negatively affected by the legislation. The findings have significant implications for the HRM practices of multinationals operating in societies with significant labour market regulatory interventions.