The psychological contract is a key concept in Organizational Behavior, offering a powerful lens to understand employee attitudes and behaviors (Conway & Briner, 2009). It is commonly defined as an employee's beliefs about the mutual obligations between her- or himself and the employer (Rousseau, 1989). The PC thus forms a mental schema that employees use to monitor their progress towards attaining valuable goals at work (Hansen & Griep, 2016; Rousseau, 2001). We propose to study the PC as a network, containing the exchanges between employer inducements and employee contributions. This network approach closely aligns to the definition of the psychological contract, increasing the theoretical-methodological synergy. Importantly, the network approach captures exchange, which is overlooked in the literature yet essential for psychological contracts. This will allow for more accurate predictions of employee behaviours in response to perceptions of psychological contract breach. Moreover, the network approach acknowledges the idiosyncratic nature of the psychological contract, by allowing each employee's network to be unique. We have two main objectives in this project. First, we will validate the network approach by comparing it to existing techniques, showing that network characteristics can be used to gain a better understanding of the psychological contract. Second, we will extend psychological contract theory by exploring the dynamic properties of these networks.
Effective start/end date1/01/1931/12/22

    Research areas

  • IPC

    Flemish discipline codes

  • Psychological methods not elsewhere classified

ID: 43966632