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An examination of psychological contracts, careerism and ITL

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationships between elements of the psychological contract (i.e. type and fulfilment) and an employee's intention to leave (ITL) their current organisation. The role of careerism as a potential mediating and moderating variable is also to be explored. Design/methodology/approach ‐ In total, 202 allied health professionals (AHPs) completed a questionnaire containing measures of the psychological contract, careerism and ITL. Findings ‐ As predicted, path analyses conducted via structural equation modelling demonstrated that careerism partially mediates the relationship between contract types and ITL. These findings suggest that employees with transactional contracts are more careerist, resulting in higher ITL, while employees with relational contracts are less careerist, resulting in lower ITL. Contrary to expectation, a hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that careerism failed to moderate the relationship between perceived contract fulfillment and ITL. However, a strong positive association between contract fulfillment and ITL was found. Research limitations/implications ‐ The data were collected cross-sectionally, which limits the ability to make causal inferences. Practical implications ‐ Results were consistent with the proposition that contract type and fulfillment explain employee ITL. It appears that employees with relational contracts are more likely to remain with their organization on a longer-term basis, compared to employees with transactional contracts, due to differences in career motives. Organizational awareness and understanding of employee psychological contracts and career motives is needed. Originality/value ‐ This paper provides new theoretical and practical insights on how psychological contracts and careerism can influence ITL among AHPs.

Keywords: Career satisfaction; Careerism; Employees turnover; Employment contracts; Psychological contracts; Turnover intentions

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/13620431211269711

Publication date: 2012-09-14

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