One after the other: Effects of sequence patterns of breaches and overfulfilled obligations

Jeroen de Jong, Thomas Rigotti, J. Mulder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

To date, the study of psychological contracts has primarily centred on the question how retrospective evaluations of the psychological contract impact employee attitudes and behaviours, and/or focus on individual coping processes in explaining responses to breached or overfulfilled obligations. In this study, we aim to assess the extent to which sequences of breached and overfulfilled obligations impact job satisfaction and citizenship behaviour intentions. By integrating psychological contract research and theories on cognitive information processing, we formulate competing hypotheses on how sequences of breached and/or overfulfilled obligations lead to patterns of job satisfaction and citizenship behaviour intentions. These competing hypotheses were tested using a vignette study and an experiment. A Bayesian approach was used to test these pattern hypotheses directly against each other. The results show that breached obligations have an immediate negative impact on our outcome variables. Moreover, sequentially breached obligations lead to a continuous decline of job satisfaction and citizenship behaviour intentions. Overfulfilled obligations do little to compensate this negative impact. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Keywords: Psychological contract, sequential events, job satisfaction, citizenship behaviours, Bayesian hypothesis testing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-355
JournalThe European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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