Managing the career deal: the psychological contract as a framework for understanding career management, organizational commitment and work behavior

Sturges, Jane; Conway, Neil; Guest, David and Liefooghe, Andreas (2005). Managing the career deal: the psychological contract as a framework for understanding career management, organizational commitment and work behavior. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(7) pp. 821–838.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/job.341

Abstract

This paper reports the findings of a study that investigated the relationship between different kinds of career management activities, the psychological contract, and outcomes of psychological contract fulfillment. The study tested a series of linked hypotheses which propose that individual career management behavior is associated with the experience of organizational career management help, which is related to fulfillment of the psychological contract. Fulfillment of the psychological contract in turn is linked to organizational commitment and is associated with behaviors at work, including absenteeism, turnover, and independent ratings of job performance. The findings provide some support for these proposed links. As a result, the paper makes four contributions to the psychological contract and careers literature: first, it shows that both individual and organizational career management behaviors are linked to psychological contract fulfillment; second, organizational career management help is associated with affective commitment and job performance; third, psychological contract fulfillment plays a key role in mediating the relationship between career management help and such attitudes and behaviors; and fourth, organizational commitment may mediate between psychological contract fulfillment and individual career management behavior aimed at furthering the career outside the organization.

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