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Psychological Contract Development during Organizational Socialization: Adaptation to Reality and the Role of Reciprocity

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  • A. DE VOS
  • D. BUYENS

    ()

  • R. SCHALK

Abstract

Based on the theoretical framework of newcomer sensemaking this study examines factors associated with changes in newcomers’ psychological contract perceptions during the socialization process. More specifically, two mechanisms are addressed that could explain changes in newcomers’ perceptions of the promises they have exchanged with their employer: (1) unilateral adaptation of perceived promises to reality and (2) adaptation of perceived promises as a function of the reciprocity norm. To test our hypotheses, a fourwave longitudinal study among 333 new hires has been conducted, covering the first year of their employment relationship. Results show that changes in newcomers’ perceptions of the promises they have made to their employer are affected by their perceptions of their own contributions as well as by their perceptions of inducements received from their employer. Changes in newcomers’ perceptions of employer promises are affected by their perceptions of employer inducements received, but the impact of perceived employee contributions is less clear. The data provide limited support for the idea that the adaptation of perceived promises to perceived inducements and contributions occurs to a stronger extent during the encounter stage than during the acquisition stage of socialization.

Suggested Citation

  • A. De Vos & D. Buyens & R. Schalk, 2003. "Psychological Contract Development during Organizational Socialization: Adaptation to Reality and the Role of Reciprocity," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/194, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:03/194
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    File URL: http://wps-feb.ugent.be/Papers/wp_03_194.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. A. De Vos & D. Buyens & R. Schalk, 2003. "Making Sense of a New Employment Relationship: Psychological Contract- Related Information Seeking and the Role of Work Values and Locus of Control," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/209, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    2. Schlosser, Francine K. & McNaughton, Rod B., 2007. "Individual-level antecedents to market-oriented actions," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(5), pages 438-446, May.
    3. De Vos, Ans & Meganck, Annelies & Buyens, Dirk, 2005. "The role of the psychological contract in retention management: Confronting HR-managers’ and employees’ views on retention factors and the relationship with employees’ intentions to stay," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2005-5, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
    4. repec:eee:jbvent:v:32:y:2017:i:5:p:588-610 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Kraak, Johannes Marcelus & Lunardo, Renaud & Herrbach, Olivier & Durrieu, François, 2017. "Promises to employees matter, self-identity too: Effects of psychological contract breach and older worker identity on violation and turnover intentions," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 108-117.
    6. Willem, A. & Devos, A. & Buelens, M., 2006. "Differences between private and public sector employees’ psychological contracts," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2007-2, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
    7. Sally Sambrook & Delia Wainwright, 2010. "The Psychological Contract: Who's Contracting with Whom? Towards a Conceptual Model," Working Papers 10013, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    8. Severin Hornung & Jürgen Glaser, 2010. "Employee responses to relational fulfilment and work-life benefits: A social exchange study in the German public administration," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 73-92, March.
    9. repec:iim:iimawp:13106 is not listed on IDEAS

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