Exchange relationships at work: impact of violation, trust and commitment on employee behaviours and employer obligations

Johanns, Renée C.
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University of Guelph

A psychological contract model of employment relationships was analyzed. The model represents two extremes on the psychological contract continuum: the transactional contract and the relational contract. The transactional contract was expected to demonstrate a positive association between proscribed, in-role employee behaviours and transactional employer obligation levels. The relational contract was hypothesized to originate at perceptions of employer obligation fulfillment, which would predict trust in one's employer, and which in turn would positively influence one's affective commitment to the organization. Affective commitment was hypothesized to predict levels of organizational citizenship behaviour, which was expected to be positively associated with both transactional and relational employer obligation levels. Results demonstrate that the model provided an acceptable fit to the data, although relational employee behaviours were negatively or not associated with employer obligation levels. Limitations, suggestions for future research, and implications for organizations are discussed.

psychological contract model, employment relationships, psychological contract continuum, transactional contract, relational contract