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Understanding Psychological Contracts at WorkA Critical Evaluation of Theory and Research$
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Neil Conway and Rob B. Briner

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280643

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280643.001.0001

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Challenges for Psychological Contract Researchers

Challenges for Psychological Contract Researchers

(p.110) (p.111) 7 Challenges for Psychological Contract Researchers
Understanding Psychological Contracts at Work

Neil Conway

Rob B. Briner

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at a number of key challenges facing psychological contract researchers that need to be addressed to strengthen psychological contract theory and make it more useful to practitioners. The challenges faced by psychological contract researchers cover a wide range of areas, including the definition of the psychological contract, psychological contract theory, and appropriate ways of researching the psychological contract. This chapter considers in more detail some of the definitional issues raised earlier and the conceptual problems they raise, and suggests ways in which aspects of the psychological contract concept can be clarified and developed. Six key six challenges are examined: what are the differences between expectations, obligations, and promises? What is meant by implicit promises? Are psychological contract beliefs only those shaped by the employee's current organization? What are the precise, specific links in the reciprocal exchange between employers and employees? Who, or what, do employees perceive to be the organization? Another important issue is how employees anthropomorphize the organization.

Keywords:   psychological contract, researchers, expectations, obligations, promises, beliefs, employees, employers

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