The Development of Psychological Contract Breach and Violation a Longitudinal Study

The topic of psychological contract breach and violation has gained significant attention in organizational research over the years. Psychological contracts are implicit agreements between employees and employers that outline expectations, mutual obligations, and responsibilities in the workplace. A breach or violation of these contracts can have a profound impact on employee attitudes, behaviors, and job performance.

A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Sussex and the University of Exeter explored the development of psychological contract breach and violation over time. The longitudinal study involved a sample of employees from a range of organizations and industries, who completed surveys at various intervals over a two-year period.

The results of the study highlighted the importance of understanding the dynamic and evolving nature of psychological contract breach and violation. The researchers found that employees who experienced a breach or violation of their psychological contract early on in their employment were more likely to perceive subsequent breaches and violations. This suggests that early experiences of psychological contract breach or violation can set the stage for future negative perceptions and attitudes toward the employer.

Additionally, the study found that employees` perceptions of psychological contract breach and violation were affected by changes in workplace conditions and organizational practices over time. For example, changes in job demands, work hours, and organizational policies were associated with higher levels of psychological contract breach and violation. Conversely, positive changes in job resources, such as social support and recognition, were linked to lower levels of breach and violation.

The study also highlighted the negative consequences of psychological contract breach and violation for both employees and organizations. Employees who experienced high levels of breach and violation were more likely to exhibit negative behaviors, such as reduced effort, absenteeism, and turnover intention. These negative outcomes can have significant costs for organizations, including decreased productivity, increased recruitment and training costs, and lower employee morale and engagement.

As such, it is important for employers to be aware of the potential for psychological contract breach and violation and to take steps to prevent and address these issues. This can include clear communication about job expectations and responsibilities, fair and consistent treatment of employees, and opportunities for feedback and input. By promoting positive psychological contract relationships, organizations can foster greater employee satisfaction, commitment, and performance.

In conclusion, the development of psychological contract breach and violation is a dynamic process that can have significant implications for employee attitudes and behaviors. The results of this study emphasize the importance of understanding the evolving nature of psychological contracts and the need for organizations to promote positive relationships with their employees. As a professional, it is important to highlight the significance of this research and its relevance in promoting healthy organizational climates and promoting positive employee outcomes.