The personal covenant: an examination of the psychological contracts of priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth in the context of the Pastoral Areas change programme

Quinn, Paul (2007) The personal covenant: an examination of the psychological contracts of priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth in the context of the Pastoral Areas change programme. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The Portsmouth Catholic Diocese has undergone a radical programme to reorganise parishes, breaking the traditional priest-parish model. The opportunity is taken to examine whether the psychological contract offers a framework to understand the relationship with the business-critical group of priests. Business language is inappropriate in a relationship founded on vows, the term personal covenant is used. Taking a qualitative phenomenological approach, the study supports the generalisation of a model of the personal covenant as psychological contract. It is characterised as: * Anchored in a shared responsibility to accompany and lead people on their journey of faith. * It follows Rousseau's (1995) model of a highly relational psychological contract with transactional elements acting as a binary hygiene factor. * It conforms to Rousseau's (2000) concept of psychological contract as a developing schema, with stages of 'pre-employment'; 'recruitment', 'early socialisation' and 'later', with the early socialisation phase in first parish as most critical to developing understanding. * The structure of the psychological contract is complex. There are significant psychological accountabilities with the parish, fellow priests, the Curia and chaplaincy partners. A structural model is proposed. * The content of the psychological contract conforms in part to the model developed for volunteers by Liao-Troth (2001) modified by Taylor et al (2006). Elements of Canon Law and the binary transaction elements of tangible benefit are included and emphasis is provided to other elements. A new model of the personal covenant contents is proposed. A normative psychological contract is shown to exist. The models are tested against 4 techniques and the pastoral area programme. Conclusions and recommendations are drawn for practical management by the Diocese and suggestions for further research made. It is concluded that the study adds to the understanding of the psychological contract in highly relational contracts where financial reward is not important.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Portsmouth Business School > Organisational Studies and Human Resources Management
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/612

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