Dynamics of Psychological Contracting


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Tomprou, M., Nikolaou, I. & Bourantas, D. (2007). The Potential Dynamics Of Psychological Contracting During Selection And Socialization. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Philadelphia, USA.

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Dynamics of Psychological Contracting

  1. 1. The Potential Dynamics of Psychological Contracting during Selection and Socialization Tomprou M., Nikolaou I. & Bourantas D. Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece
  2. 2. Defining…. <ul><li>The individual’s beliefs about the promised-based -explicit or implicit- obligations between the focal person and the employing organization </li></ul><ul><li>Subjectivity vs. mutuality </li></ul><ul><li>Obligations vs. expectations (Not all expectations are contractual) </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations cannot hold psychological contracts but individuals can </li></ul>
  3. 3. Defining…. <ul><li>Psychological Contract </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relational vs. transactional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Long – term working relationship emphasizing on socio-emotional features vs. a working relationship with narrow and monetizable obligations with limited involvement of the parties </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Breach and violation </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Psychological Contract Creation <ul><li>Psychological contracting has been defined as the process through which psychological contracts are formed, managed and breached </li></ul><ul><li>Newcomers’ expectations and Revised Expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive Promises (Implicit or Explicit) between the newcomer and the employer </li></ul><ul><li>Salience: the degree to which a stimulus becomes noticeable from its immediate context </li></ul>
  5. 5. Our Rationale <ul><li>Previous Research focuses on how the psychological contract is being breached and violated? </li></ul><ul><li>This Research focuses on how the psychological contract is being created and kept balanced ? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Theoretical Background of Psychological Contract Creation <ul><li>Social Exchange Theory </li></ul><ul><li>& </li></ul><ul><li>Sensemaking Theory </li></ul>With whom the newcomer interacts? How does the newcomer perceive his/her new working relationship?
  7. 7. Potential Dynamics of Psychological Contract Creation (1) <ul><li>Personal Factors </li></ul><ul><li>Work experience may have differential effects on the way newcomers interpret the promises sent by the organizations and their expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Ideology of self – reliance: Newcomers who believe that their career and employability depends on their own efforts may revise their expectations and perceive the other side’s promises with less emotional reactions than their non self – reliant counterparts </li></ul>
  8. 8. Potential Dynamics of Psychological Contract Creation (1) <ul><li>Within the framework of social exchange, exchange ideologists who perceive lack of organizational reciprocation regarding salient for them contract terms may provoke more intense negative reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive individuals will tend to form balanced psychological contracts with less negative emotions during their socialization, as well as with fewer perceptions of breach and violation </li></ul>
  9. 9. Potential Dynamics of Psychological Contract Creation (2) <ul><li>Social Influence </li></ul><ul><li>We argue that research needs to investigate differentially the influence of contract makers and facilitators during psychological contract formation </li></ul><ul><li>It is worth investigating the role of formal and informal conversations as a means of information seeking regarding perceived obligations </li></ul>
  10. 10. Potential Dynamics of Psychological Contract Creation (2) <ul><li>Supervisors and colleagues who are perceived as welcoming and accessible to any kind of request may promote newcomers’ adaptability with less negative reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Within the context of positive relationships, newcomers receiving mentoring may also formulate a more balanced psychological contract than non-mentored counterparts </li></ul>
  11. 11. Potential Dynamics of Psychological Contract Creation (3) <ul><li>Organizational Influence </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational and recruitment image may provide to prospect employees implicit messages about the nature of the working relationship with the focal organization </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Socialization practices applied by the organization may also influence newcomers’ psychological contracting processes </li></ul><ul><li>Issues of procedural and interactional (in) justice are expected to influence newcomers psychological contract either negatively or positively </li></ul>Potential Dynamics of Psychological Contract Creation (3)
  13. 13. Indicators of a Balanced Psychological Contract <ul><li>Innovative Behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Active Participation in Developmental Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Increased extra-role performance (e.g. Organizational Citizenship Behavior) and in-role job performance </li></ul>
  14. 14. Methodological Approach & Preliminary Findings <ul><li>Semi – structured Interviews (10 newcomers) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Org. Representatives ≠ Facilitators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Org. Representatives prefer formal conversations and formal procedures to convey messages ≠ Facilitators employ informal ways (such as chatting, storytelling) to teach newcomers the ropes regarding the new contract terms. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual Differences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Diary Study (40 newcomers approx. completed diaries for a period of 10 days  HLM analysis) </li></ul><ul><li>Longitudinal survey of newcomers in organizations </li></ul>
  15. 15. Contact Details <ul><li>Maria Tomprou </li></ul><ul><li>Ioannis Nikolaou </li></ul><ul><li>Dimitris Bourantas </li></ul><ul><li>Correspondence E-mail: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Web: www.dmst.aueb.gr/nikolaou </li></ul>