Psychological Contracts and Organizational Identification: The Mediating Effect of Perceived Organizational Support

Thomas J. Zagenczyk, Ray Gibney, W. Timothy Few, Kristin L. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding the processes through which employees incorporate the organization's identity into their own identity is critical to building positive employer-employee relationships. We draw primarily on organizational support theory to advance the argument that psychological contract breach is negatively related to organizational identification and positively related to organizational disidentification because it makes employees believe that their organizations do not value their contributions or care about their well-being (reduces perceived organizational support). Results from two studies generally provide support for our hypotheses: in Study 1, perceived organizational support fully mediated the relationship between psychological contract breach and organizational identification. In Study 2, Time 2 perceived organizational support fully mediated the relationship between Time 1 relational psychological contract breach (e. g., promises related to training, development, job security) and organizational identification, but not the relationship between transactional psychological contract breach (e. g., promises related to pay and work hours) and organizational identification. Time 2 perceived organizational support partially mediated the relationship between relational psychological contract breach and organizational disidentification, but not the relationship between transactional psychological contract breach and organizational disidentification. We conclude that organizations should be concerned with this erosion of the positive employer-employee relationship (organizational identification) and fostering of a negative employer-employee relationship (disidentification).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-281
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Labor Research
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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