IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Information seeking about the psychological contract: The impact on newcomers’ evaluations of their employment relationship

Listed author(s):
  • A. DE VOS


Both socialization and psychological contract literature demonstrate that the first months of employment are critical for the development of a positive psychological contract with organizational newcomers (e.g. Bauer et al., 1994; Robinson et al., 1994; Thomas & Anderson, 1998). For this reason, it is the objective of this study to explicate newcomers’ psychological contract perceptions and evaluations during the socialization process, using information seeking as the central antecedent variable. Based upon socialization and psychological contract literature, hypotheses are formulated that address the relationship between newcomer information seeking and (1) changes in newcomers’ perceptions of promises exchanged with their employer, and (2) newcomers’ evaluations of their employment relationship one year after entry. To test our hypotheses, a four-wave longitudinal survey among 333 newcomers has been conducted, covering the first year of their new employment relationship. These newcomers, all white-collar level, belonged to six large organizations located in Belgium. Data collections took place at four moments: (T1) at entry, (T2) three months after entry, (T3) six months after entry, and (T4) one year after entry. Results suggest that during the socialization process newcomers change their perceptions of promises but that, contrary to our expectations, these changes are not related to their information-seeking behaviors. On the other hand, and in line with our hypotheses, the frequency of contract-related information seeking during the socialization process significantly affects newcomers’ evaluations of their employment relationship one year after entry. Newcomers who engage more frequently in information seeking make up a more positive evaluation of psychological contract fulfillment and they are also more satisfied with their employment relationship in general. Our findings are discussed in view of the available literature on newcomer socialization and psychological contract development and implications for theories on psychological contract development are drawn.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 04/227.

in new window

Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:04/227
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Hoveniersberg 4, B-9000 Gent

Phone: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 34 61
Fax: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 35 92
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Lance, Charles E. & Vandenberg, Robert J. & Self, Robin M., 2000. "Latent Growth Models of Individual Change: The Case of Newcomer Adjustment," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 107-140, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:04/227. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nathalie Verhaeghe)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.