Th-SYM-637-3 - Pre-Entry Job Expectations: A Grounded Investigation Of The Content Dimensions That Contribute To The Formation Of Psychological Contract

Psychological Contracts
Thursday May 18   04:15 PM to 05:15 PM (1 hour)
Employment relations
Psychological contracts
Pre-entry job expecations: A grounded investigation of the content dimensions that contribute to the formation of psychological contract
C. Erdem 1,*
1London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom
Main Abstract Content: The purpose of this study is to contribute to the development of psychological contract formation theory through identifying the pre-entry expectations of future employees. This paper draws attention to the antecedents of psychological contract, by inductively investigating the specific content dimensions of anticipatory psychological contract, which potential employees form based on their pre-entry expectations.
32 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with recent graduates who were on the job market at time interviews were conducted. Content analysis is used inductively to identify the themes that emerge from the data.
Five main themes, which shape the content dimensions of the potential employees’ anticipatory psychological contracts are emerged from data analysis: (1) career advancement, (2) autonomy, (3) recognition, (4) organizational support and (5) fairness.
It remains to be tested how much these anticipatory psychological contract dimensions influence the formation of the psychological contract once these individuals join their organizations. One implication of the current study suggests that managing pre-entry expectations and anticipatory psychological contracts of potential employees is an efficient way of managing the adaptation process of new employees into the organization. Therefore, organizations can increase their chances to form healthier relationships with responding to their new employees’ needs and expectations and, in return, can expect higher commitment and performance from their employees.
The originality of this study lies in its conceptualization of pre-entry period in psychological contract formation process. Pre-entry period and its importance in shaping employees initial psychological contracts are conceptually acknowledged in the literature but widely overlooked in empirical studies. 

London School of Economics and Political Science
PhD Candidate

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