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 9: Psychological contracts through the lens of sensemaking

Marjo-Riitta Diehl and Jacqueline A-M. Coyle-Shapiro


Although researchers agree that sensemaking can provide a valuable lens for examining how psychological contract schemas are created, maintained or changed, empirical research on psychological contracts and sensemaking remains limited. In this chapter, the authors take stock of this knowledge base and provide suggestions on how the application of a sensemaking lens might further enrich our understanding of psychological contracts. They argue that sensemaking is an especially useful perspective for further illuminating psychological contract processes in the context of high uncertainty, the employer perspective, and the overall role of social context in which psychological contract perceptions are developed. They also consider the implications of greater integration between sensemaking and psychological contract literatures for the choice of methodology adopted in empirical investigations.

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