Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Psychological contracts in transition : a longitudinal study of psychological contracts during a period of transformational organisational change
Author: Van Ruitenbeek, D. S.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3542 4733
Awarding Body: University of Manchester : UMIST
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2000
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The aim of the research presented in this thesis was to explore the impact of transformational organisational change on the psychological contracts of a group of 101 managers working in a single UK public sector organisation. The research comprised a three stage, longitudinal study, undertaken over a period of two years. The research findings suggested that the group of public sector managers in the sample shared a" core psychological contract", which was still essentially relational in nature and stable over time. No significant differences were found in the type of psychological contracts held by different categories of employee. The fulfilment of the "core psychological contract" was found to be positively associated with self-rated performance, appraisal ratings, job satisfaction and affective and normative commitment, and negatively associated with continuance commitment and intention to quit. This relationship between contract fulfilment and work- related attitudes and behaviours was found to be relatively stable over time. Psychological contract fulfilment was found to positively predict job satisfaction, organisational commitment and appraisal ratings. Job satisfaction was found to positively predict self-rated performance and affective commitment and normative commitment. Job satisfaction was also found to negatively predict intention to quit scores. This suggests that psychological contract fulfilment may have a more direct relationship with work related attitudes than with work related behaviours. The research findings suggest that transformational organisational change has significantly threatened the key elements of the "core psychological contract" however. The managers in the sample reported a high level of dissatisfaction with the "current deaf', as they perceive a significant "mismatch" in "wants" and "offers" in the current psychological contract between the organisation and its employees. Fifty nine percent of the sample, reported examples of psychological contract violation. Those reporting contract violation report lower appraisal ratings and job satisfaction, and affective and normative commitment scores and higher continuance commitment and intention to quit scores than those not reporting violations. The, longitudinal research findings suggest a clear causal relationship between the experience of contract violation, a decline in perceived contract fulfilment and a higher intention to quit. They also suggest that if contract violation is repeated over time, this may lead to a further deterioration in performance, job satisfaction and commitment and a significantly higher intention to quit. If no further violations are experienced however, performance, job satisfaction and organisational commitment appear to begin to recover. The research findings suggest that it may be possible for the organisation to negotiate a `new deaf' (a more realistic psychological contract) with its employees. This will involve "re-balancing" the contract to achieve better balance between the "wants" and offers" of each party. The research findings suggest that the process of agreeing and implementing the "new deaf' will involve the full commitment and involvement of Top management, HRM staff, line managers and employees if it is to be successful.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available