Th-SYM-637-6 - Your Breach Is My Breach? A Unit Climate Perspective On Psychological Contract Breach

Psychological Contracts
Thursday May 18   04:15 PM to 05:15 PM (1 hour)
Employment relations
Psychological contracts
Your breach is my breach? A unit climate perspective on psychological contract breach
J. Akkermans 1,*, M. P. Bal 2, S. de Jong 3
1VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2University of Lincoln, Lincoln, 3Norwich Business School, Norwich, United Kingdom
Main Abstract Content: Despite the wealth of research showing that psychological contract breach (PCB) has negative outcomes for individuals, knowledge about the role of the social context in which breaches are experienced is still scarce. Therefore, we integrated knowledge on commitment climate with the PCB literature to explain how it may impact the relationships of PCB with employee outcomes. We expected that if all unit members are highly and homogeneously committed, employees would ‘reframe’ their PCB in such a way that it would less strongly affect their work engagement and turnover intentions.
Using data from 1,272 employees across 36 healthcare units we conducted multilevel structural path analyses.
We showed that work engagement mediates the relationship between PCB and turnover intentions. We found that commitment climate level did not buffer the relation between PCB and work engagement, but commitment climate strength did. Further, our hypothesized three-way interaction was significant, showing that the detrimental effects of PCB are especially buffered when both commitment climate level and strength are high.
Limitations include the use of cross-sectional and self-report data. Our results indicate that the social context has a crucial role to play in how employees deal with PCB, and that unit commitment climate can be a strong buffer for the negative effects of PCB.
This is one of the first studies to empirically test the role of social context in dealing with PCB. In addition, it is the first study to integrate literature on PCB and unit climate.
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Associate Professor

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