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The relationship between career-related antecedents and graduates’ anticipatory psychological contracts


  • Devos, A.


  • Meganck, A.

    () (Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School)


This paper addresses the results of a study about the antecedents of the anticipatory psychological contract of graduate students entering the labor market. The anticipatory psychological contract (ACP) is conceptualized as an incomplete mental model about the conditions of the future employment relationship (the employee and employer contributions being part of this deal). Departing from earlier research on the importance of the anticipatory psychological contract as a determinant of employee evaluations regarding their employment relationship, we examine to which extent these pre-employment perceptions are affected by individual career-related antecedents (optimism, career strategy, individual career management and work importance). The results of an empirical study among 1409 graduate students largely confirm the proposed hypotheses. Mainly those dimensions of the ACP that are related to career perspective and job content are significantly affected by the antecedents included in our model. Graduates with a high score on careerism, who engage in a high level of individual career management and with management ambitions, have stronger expectations regarding these inducements. With regard to their own commitment toward their future employer, mainly the dimensions flexibility and employability are affected by these antecedents.

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  • Devos, A. & Meganck, A., 2006. "The relationship between career-related antecedents and graduates’ anticipatory psychological contracts," Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School Working Paper Series 2006-39, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School.
  • Handle: RePEc:vlg:vlgwps:2006-39

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