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A Methodological Approach to Developing a Measure of the Psychological Contract for Managers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 February 2012

Donald A.J. Cable*
Affiliation:
The University of Waikato, New Zealand. dcable@waikato.ac.nz
*
*address for correspondence: Donald Cable, The University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand.
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Abstract

With a focus on a specific employment group this research attempted to add to the knowledge on the content of the psychological contract. Structured interviews with 35 managers generated 651 responses relating to the content of their psychological contracts. Analysis of those responses resulted in the development of an initial two-component measure of the contract. One component (23 items) included the managers' expectations relating to the organisation's obligations. The other component (16 items) included the managers' obligations relating to the perceived organisation's expectations. Validation of the measure was based on a questionnaire completed by 124 managers. Participants considered all items to be important aspects of the contract. Participants also rated as high the obligation of each party to meet the expectations of the other. Factor analysis of the measure revealed two factors in each component which, in line with previous research, were termed relational obligations and transactional obligations. A robust methodology is proposed for continuing research into the content of the psychological work contract.

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Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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