A lifespan perspective on psychological contracts and their relations with organizational commitment

P.M. Bal, A.H. de Lange, H. Zacher, B.I.J.M. van der Heijden

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Abstract

The current study investigated the influence of age-related constructs on the psychological contract and its relationships with continuance and normative commitment. It was proposed that as people age, their future time perspective (FTP) decreases. Consequently, it was expected that contract fulfilment would be positively related to continuance commitment for workers with short FTP, while it would be positively related to normative commitment for workers with long FTP. Conversely, it was argued that, with age, workers' perceived work-related expertise increases, resulting in stronger reactions to obligation fulfilment on normative commitment. A study among 334 employees showed that FTP and work-related expertise indeed moderated the relationships between contract fulfilment and organizational commitment. The results showed that the influence of age on the relations between contract fulfilment with outcomes is dependent upon FTP and occupational expertise. The study shows the value of a lifespan perspective on psychological contracts and their relations with organizational commitment. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-292
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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