Me and my team: the role of social context in psychological contract breach and fulfilment

J. Akkermans, Simon De Jong, Jeroen De Jong, P. Matthijs Bal

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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The literature on psychological contract formation and evaluation is extremely rich, yet the role of social context has been under-researched. Studying the role of social context, however, is important, as psychological contract formation, fulfilment, and breach are likely to be influenced by social contextual factors such as supervisors, colleagues, and team members. In this chapter, the authors bring together the available literature on the role of social context in the psychological contract, thereby distinguishing between three main approaches: individual-level, direct consensus, and referent shift. Following from these three approaches, the authors argue that single-level research has a rich foundation, yet multi-level research is still relatively new and unexplored. Further, they distinguish between idiosyncratic and shared psychological contracts, thereby arguing that the latter especially is in need of more theorizing and empirical work. In all, the authors hope that this chapter inspires researchers to explore the role of social context in psychological contract processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of research on the psychological contract at work
EditorsCary Cooper, Yannick Griep
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781788115681
ISBN (Print)9781788115674
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameNew Horizons in Management series


  • Psychological Contract
  • Psychological Contract Breach
  • Psychological Contract Fulfilment


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