The “social contract” was once a basic assumption of the workplace:
“The social contract between employer and employee [is defined as] the implied,
unwritten contract between employer and employee [based on] loyalty. Employers
promised job security and a steady progress up the hierarchy in return for employees
fitting in, performing in prescribed ways and sticking around.”
The world has changed substantially in the so-called “New Economy” of the 21st century. Both
employers and employees may have changed the rules, it seems. To examine that, write an essay
on this topic using the two newspaper articles attached and guided by the questions in the
ARTICLES ATTACHED: New rules for work force, by D. Mark Cooper, Washington Business
Journal, August 29-September 4, 1997; Millennials Play the Long Game, by Jennifer Deal and
Alec Levenson, Strategy+Business, 2015, and What if the NFL Played by Teachers’ Rules, by
Fran Tarkenton, Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2011.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Read the attached articles and write a minimum 4-6 page essay
answering the questions asked below.
QUESTIONS TO ANSWER IN YOUR ESSAY:
1. Mr. Cooper says “the era of the 25-year gold (years-of-service) pin is over.” Is he right or
wrong about this? Say why you believe he is either right or wrong. Defend your answer.
2. To compare the business social contract with another approach to employee relations,
namely, union contracts, read Fran Tarkenton’s Wall Street Journal article where he discusses
the rules of employment for public school teachers which tend to force the 25-year pin
concept. Do you agree with Mr. Tarkenton’s approach to changing the current
approach to improve quality? What do you believe is the right thing to do?
3. What changes, if any, have you observed in employee attitude toward loyalty between
employer and employee in your own workplace(s) or among your friends and colleagues? Is
age of the employee a factor in the changes you have observed? How have any changes you
may have observed affected you and your organization?
4. Are you more likely to leave an employer now? If so, why is that true? Are you more fearful
of being fired than before? If so, what can you do about it?
5. Put yourself in the shoes of an employer. If you assume, like Mr. Cooper, that your
employees may leave at any time, what are some changes you might make to your recruiting,
selection, training, and appraisal procedures to keep good people?
SEE REVERSE OF THIS PAGE FOR TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE ESSAY
TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE ESSAY:
2. Minimum Length: 4-6 pages (not including cover page) double-spaced only; page
3. Use size font size 12, font Times New Roman (or equivalent), if written by computer.
(On typewriter, 10-pitch type maximum.)
4. Use bold type and capitalization only where it is appropriate.
5. Margins: Right and left 1¼”, top and bottom 1.”