Handbook of Research on the Psychological Contract at Work
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Handbook of Research on the Psychological Contract at Work

Edited by Yannick Griep and Cary Cooper

The psychological contract is considered a critical construct in organizational behavior literature because it informs employee emotions, attitudes, and behaviors in the workplace. Although the psychological contract has been explored extensively over the last 50 years, numerous theoretical, conceptual, empirical, methodological, and analytical changes have pushed the field forward. As such, it is time to take stock and move forward. The contributors to this Handbook explore in detail this important component of modern management thinking.
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Chapter 5: The usefulness of the psychological contract in the 21st century

Johannes M. Kraak and Barend J. Linde


Psychological contract research has grown exponentially in the last three decades. Although these writings have pushed the field of psychological contract research forward from a purely academic standpoint, they never critically reflect upon the perceptions of the academics doing the research. Discussions on the usefulness of the psychological contract are frequently heard at conferences but remain very scarce in the literature. For this chapter the authors decided to explore the perceptions of the actors involved in psychological contract research: 64 researchers from 30 countries. The results indicate that participants feel that the concept is useful as a developing theoretical framework that helps us to explain organizational behaviour in the workplace. However, participants suggested solving long-standing conceptual issues as well as focusing more on topics such as the dynamics and the context of the psychological contract. This chapter presents and discusses their suggestions on how to advance this particular field of research.

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