The psychological contract: Investigation of generational and career stage differences

Academy of Management
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
2008 Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings, 2008, pp. 1 - 6
Issue Date:
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Psychological contract theorists have posited that individual differences in employees work attitudes and behaviours influence how the psychological contract is perceived. However, research investigating the psychological contract has largely failed to consider potential individual differences. This study expands current research through investigating whether employees perceptions of employer obligations and cognitive reactions to fulfilment of these obligations vary based on an individuals career stage and generational cohort. Over 250 employees with backgrounds across diverse industry sectors and positions participated in the study. Results indicate that across employees, level of perceived balanced obligations were significantly higher than perceived level of relational or transactional obligations. This study found significant differences between individuals perceptions of the psychological contract based on their generational cohort and career stage. The implications of these results to theory, future research and practice are discussed.
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