Terms in this set (5)
Most employment contracts can be characterized as incomplete as the employer cannot specify in advance all the details that the contract might cover. The longer the employment lasts, the more the incompleteness of the initial contract. Employees faced with uncertainty fill in the blanks in their written contact with their own interpretations. The psychological contract is the basis of these.
In essence, psychological contracts are an individual's belief regarding reciprocal obligations: what obligations the employee owes the employer and employer obligations to the employee.
Psychological Contract (Schein, 1980)
"A set of unwritten reciprocal expectations between an individual employee and the organization."
Psychological Contract (Kotter, 1973)
"An implicit contract between an individual and his organization which specifies what each expect to give and receive from each other."
* Psychological Contract (Rousseau, 1989)
"An individual's belief regarding the terms and conditions of a reciprocal exchange agreement between the focal person and the other party. A psychological contract emerges when one party believes that a promise of future returns has been made, a contribution has been given and thus, an obligation has been created to provide future benefits."
Differences in psychological contract definitions
Although there is general consensus that the psychological contract deals with implicit reciprocal promises and obligations, there has been differences in the definitions.
Schein's definition focused on the expectations of both parties and the level of mutuality and reciprocity needed to be considered jointly in order to explain the sources of agreement and disparity.
Rousseau, on the other hand had a different interpretation. Rather than focus on a two-way exchange, she sought to focus on the individual employee subjectivity in employment. For her, the psychological contract is an individual employee's "&belief in mutual obligations between the person and another party such as an employer".
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