Edited by John P. Meyer
Like organizational commitment, research on the ‘psychological contract’ (PC) provides an important framework for helping employers to understand and manage their relationships with employees. A PC represents the employee’s beliefs about mutual obligations exchanged with the employer. This chapter offers an overview of key topics and theoretical refinement in the study of PCs, with special attention to theoretical and empirical connections with organizational commitment. Although organizational commitment is treated primarily as an outcome variable in the extant PC literature, recent theoretical developments in the study of PCs suggest a far more complex role of organizational commitment for future research. The authors discuss several exciting opportunities for the concurrent study of PCs and organizational commitment (for example, how commitment changes over time as a function of PC phase) and explore how the organizational commitment literature can inform future exploration of PC processes.
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