Psychological Contract Creation


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Tomprou, M. & Nikolaou, I. (2006). Exploring the dynamics of newcomers’ psychological contract creation; An alternative socio-cognitive approach. 26th International Congress of Applied Psychology, Athens, Greece.

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Psychological Contract Creation

  1. 1. Exploring the Dynamics of Psychological Contract Creation: An Alternative Socio-Cognitive Approach Tomprou, M. & Nikolaou, I. Athens University of Economics and Business
  2. 2. Defining…. <ul><li>Psychological Contract </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The employee and the organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beliefs about promised –based obligations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schema based on objective reciprocity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Psychological Contract Creation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revised Expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive Promises </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Salience </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The Rationale <ul><li>Previous Research focus 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>
  4. 4. 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?
  5. 5. Emotions vs Violation <ul><li>Employee’s Violation Feelings of Betrayal, Resentment, Outrage, Distress </li></ul><ul><li>Newcomer’s mood Fluctuation of Positive and Negative Emotions </li></ul>
  6. 6. 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><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 than their counterparts who are more aware of their reciprocation. </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive individuals will tend to form balanced psychological contracts with less negative emotions during their socialization, as well as fewer perceptions of breach and violation. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Potential Dynamics of Psychological Contract Creation (2) <ul><li>Social Influence </li></ul><ul><li>We argue that future research may need 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><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>
  8. 8. 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><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>
  9. 9. Indicators of a Balanced Psychological Contract <ul><li>Innovative Behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Active Participation in Developmental Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational Citizenship Behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Objective Performance Indicators </li></ul>
  10. 10. Methodological Approach & Preliminary Findings <ul><li>Interviews </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 </li></ul><ul><li>Longitudinal survey </li></ul>
  11. 11. ‘ The Reciprocal Agreement ‘-THANK YOU!
  12. 12. <ul><li>Contact Details </li></ul><ul><li>Maria Tomprou </li></ul><ul><li>Ioannis Nikolaou </li></ul><ul><li>Correspondence E-mail: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Web: </li></ul>