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BREACH AND FULFILLMENT OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT: A COMPARISON OF TRADITIONAL AND EXPANDED VIEWS

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Breach and fulfillment in a psychological contract has traditionally been studied with approaches that are conceptually and methodologically limited. We compared predictions derived from the traditional view to predictions from an expanded view that maintains the distinction between promised and delivered inducements and examines their joint relationship with employee satisfaction. The traditional and expanded views were compared using longitudinal data and polynomial regression analysis. Results provided little support for the traditional view. In contrast, results supported the expanded view and revealed that relationships for breach and fulfillment are more complex than previously suggested. Specifically, satisfaction depended on whether breach represented deficient or excess inducements and the particular inducement under consideration. Moreover, satisfaction was more strongly related to delivered inducements than promised inducements. These results question basic tenets of psychological contract research and indicate new avenues for research that build on the expanded view developed in this article.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kenan-Flagler Business School University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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