K.U.Leuven - Departement toegepaste economische wetenschappen
DTEW Research Report 0241 pages:1-32
The purpose of this study is to clarify a feature-oriented assessment of psychological contracts, an underdeveloped approach to psychological contracts. From a theoretical perspective, the study aims to conceptualize the nature or different dimensions of a psychological contract drawing upon theoretical frameworks and cross-national research. Reviewing the 13 nation-studies of psychological contracts organized by Rousseau and Schalk (2000), we find support for the relevance of four theoretical dimensions: time frame, tangibility, scope and stability, as well as indications for two additional dimensions: power distance and individualization. From an empirical perspective, the 6 conceptualized dimensions are being operationalized in terms of employees' expected entitlements as well as their expected obligations and tested in a large, representative sample of 1,106 employees across industries, organizations and legal contracts. The analyses resulted in 12 scales and indicated that the expected entitlements and obligations of scope, stability, power distance and individualization do not highly correlate with each other while high correlations between entitlements and obligations of time frame and tangibility exist.