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The implications of market-based versus supportive idiosyncratic deal pathways

Mackintosh, Catherine and McDermott, Aoife M. ORCID: 2023. The implications of market-based versus supportive idiosyncratic deal pathways. Group and Organization Management 48 (1) , pp. 125-155. 10.1177/10596011221088435

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This article contributes to the idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) literature by explicating and theorizing market-based and supportive i-deal pathways. In so doing, it enhances understanding of how i-deals are negotiated, addresses gaps in theoretical understanding about how outcomes emerge and reconciles divergent narratives regarding the availability of i-deals to stars or a broader pool of employees. To achieve this, the study explores the inputs, process, and outcomes of flexibility and financial i-deal creation using a qualitative approach. It addresses a deficit in multi-stakeholder i-deals research, drawing on 42 semi-structured interviews with employees, line managers and HR representatives in a financial service and a construction company. Findings detail how market-based i-deals are premised on economic exchange. They respond to employer needs to secure star performers, while employee needs may be flexibility or financially focused. The negotiation of market-based i-deals is distributive, and their creation is perceived by employees as special treatment to which they are entitled, leading to purely functional benefits for organizations (e.g., recruitment/retention). In contrast, supportive i-deals are relational, responding to employee needs for flexibility and employer needs to build high-quality employment relationships. Their negotiation is integrative. Perceived by employees as a reflection of being valued, supportive i-deals lead to broader reciprocation. Researchers and practitioners should consider the implications of these pathways. In particular, the article emphasizes the broad benefits of supportive i-deals but serves to manage expectations regarding the potential limitations of market-based i-deals, that may lead to functional benefits (e.g., recruitment/retention) but not positive attitudes and behaviors.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Additional Information: Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY 4.0)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1552-3993
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 April 2022
Date of Acceptance: 1 March 2022
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2023 16:18

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