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Tina Kiefer and Anne Antoni

The psychological contract literature has long acknowledged the role of emotions, especially regarding the consequences of the experience of breach and violation. The authors argue here that the field could benefit from a better integration of knowledge on the nature of emotions by drawing on the field of psychology of emotion. They first present the different components of emotion to critically examine the role of emotions in psychological contract literature. They develop an emotion-centred view of psychological contracts with four core suggestions: focusing on emotional events, including seemingly mundane events, rather than on general evaluative judgements about the organization; emphasizing fulfilment as a phenomenon in its own right; exploring the social influence of emotional psychological contract events; and shifting methods to capture an emotion-centred approach. Linking research on emotion and research on psychological contracts opens up new avenues for a richer understanding of the role of emotions for the psychological contract phenomenon.