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Title: The influence of individual identity on psychological contract formation and development
Author: Cachia, Moira
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 3964
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2012
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The psychological contract refers to the employee’s perception of the employment relationship, considered as the outcome of the exchange between the employee and employer. However, this thesis argued that since identity is integral to the individual, the psychological contract is, at least in part, influenced by employee needs which are sought to be fulfilled. Hence the psychological contract is viewed as a positive self-expression, affected by the individual’s developing characteristics. A longitudinal design was adopted, using semi-structured interviews, diary studies and surveys. Data was collected at three, six and twelve months from initiation of employment. This thesis presents the findings from this research programme in three empirical chapters: Chapter 6 focuses on the qualitative techniques (interviews with 26 participants and a 5-day diary study with 11 participants) at time point 1, Chapter 7 covers the qualitative techniques at time point 2 and 3 (in-depth interviews with 20 participants and a 5-day diary study with 10 participants) and Chapter 8 presents the quantitative surveys across the three time points (with 33 participants). The results from Chapter 6 showed that the development of an organizational identity is fundamental to psychological contract formation while the results from Chapter 7 showed the centrality of maintaining a personal identity. The results from Chapter 8 showed that the psychological contract is sustained as long as personal identity needs remain being fulfilled, even if organizational identification decreases. Overall, this thesis highlights how the fulfilment of individual identity needs plays a major role in the engagement and maintenance of the psychological contract. Employees seek to achieve, maintain and enhance their self-esteem, self-efficacy, continuity and distinctiveness through their association with their employing organization. A multi-systemic approach is recommended when examining the psychological contract since its preservation depends on the fit between the multiple systems in which the individual operates and not just on the individual’s relationship with the organization. On a practical level, it is proposed that an organization is more likely to maintain the necessary stability of the employee’s psychological contract if these individual factors are identified and addressed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available