Exploring temporal changes in obligated and delivered inducements: A dynamic systems perspective
SourceEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 29, 2, (2020), pp. 183-199
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
The psychological contract (PC) is a dynamic process, where employees actively and passively adjust their perceptions of obligated and delivered inducements. In this study, we focus on the temporal changes in employee's perceptions of obligated and delivered inducements and show that these micro-level dynamics take place at every stage through the PC process. We introduce a dynamic systems perspective to understand these temporal fluctuations. We show that employees' perceptions of obligated and delivered inducements interact with each other and form a dynamic system. We compared daily and weekly time-frames and found that the daily time-frame maximizes the temporal fluctuations of employees' perceptions of obligated and delivered inducements, whereas the weekly frame captures more complex trajectories. Furthermore, inducements that are explicitly communicated demonstrate more temporal fluctuations than inducements that are not explicitly communicated. We advance PC theory by providing more understanding of the temporal dynamics of employees' perceptions of obligated and delivered inducements. We provide practical guidelines for the choice of an ideal time-frame to study employees' perceptions of obligated and delivered inducements, depending on the specific inducements and the aim of the research. We propose that researchers further integrate dynamic systems theory into PC models.
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