The applicability and relevance of the terms ‘mutuality’ and ‘reciprocity’ for psychological contract research have been debated. While the terms are widely referred to in studies on psychological contracts, there seems to be no clear consensus on their definitions. Moreover, most existing research has used reciprocity as a theoretical underpinning to help explain the negative relationship between psychological contract breach and employee outcomes. However, considering the conceptualization of reciprocity, such research seems not to have been able to adequately capture reciprocity. The aim of this chapter is to further our understanding of mutuality and reciprocity and assess how these concepts have been defined and operationalized in existing research. A systematic review of empirical studies in which reciprocity and mutuality were examined was conducted. Based on this review, the authors offer proposals for clear definitions and assessments of mutuality and reciprocity. The chapter concludes with several recommendations for future research.
René Schalk and Melanie De Ruiter
Inge Bleijenbergh, Marloes van Engen, Ashley Terlouw and René Schalk
René Schalk, Marloes L. Van Engen and Dorien Kooij
Because of demographic workforce changes, the relative number of employees in the second half of their career (from mid-career to retirement) will grow substantially in the near future. Therefore, sustainability, or maintaining health, performance, motivation and well-being in the second career half is an important topic for employees and for employers as well. Moreover, since the proportion of women in the workforce in the second phase of the career is increasing, the problems of older working women need special attention. The chapter highlights specific issues that are prominent in the second career half, such as the differences in motives, career perspectives, the role of stereotypes, and health issues, especially for women. In addition, the chapter provides suggestions on how to improve sustainability in the second career half for both employees and employers. Maintaining a good fit between work and the changing needs of the employee requires employees to take an active role, as well as the availability of HR practices that facilitate this and provide opportunities for differentiation in career wishes and gender-specific preferences, and that counteract the stereotypical but incorrect view that older workers are less productive.