The Relationship among Achievement Motivation, Psychological Contract and Work Attitudes

By Lee, Hung-Wen; Liu, Ching-Hsiang | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, April 2009 | Go to article overview

The Relationship among Achievement Motivation, Psychological Contract and Work Attitudes


Lee, Hung-Wen, Liu, Ching-Hsiang, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


According to the literature, the psychological contract is regarded as the key factor influencing employees' attitudes (Raja, Johns, & Ntalianis, 2004). When employees are treated well by organizations, they are willing to contribute to the organizations in return. A psychological contract refers to the items and ideals in a reciprocal exchange agreement between employees and organizations (Rousseau, 1989). In other words, the employees have faith in the commitment of their organizations with regard to future returns and therefore they carry out their duties according to a psychological contract, which is significantly subjective. Thus, in this research we tried to find the correlation between the achievement motivation and psychological contract of staff and the relationship of both of these with work attitude. It is suggested that when managers evaluate or try to improve the work attitude of staff, they should consider their employees' achievement motivation and the extent of their fulfillment of the duties of their psychological contract.

Based on these purposes, the literatures reviewed in this research includes studies on achievement motivation, psychological contracts, and work attitude for pair correlation.

ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION

Motivation is regarded as the drive and persistence required to fulfill targets. It is an important base to achieve planning, organizational and policy-making skills, and learning and assessment in cognitive behaviors (Pintrich & Schunk, 1996). Spence and Helmreich (1983) demonstrated that achievement tends to be more competitive and positively related to traditional outcomes. Atkinson and Feather (1966) suggested that achievement motivation combined two kinds of personality constructs: tendency to approach success and tendency to approach failure. Helmreich and Spence (1978) reviewed past theories on achievement motivation and constructed the Work and Family Orientation Questionnaire (WOFO). Through factor analysis, they suggested that achievement motivation consisted of mastery needs, work orientation, competition, and personal unconcern.

PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT

Argyris (1960) was the first scholar to introduce the concept of contract in psychology by analyzing the interviews of employees and managers in two plants and describing the relationship between the employees and managers by the term psychological work contract, which would influence their behavior and relationship. Guest (2004) suggested that a psychological contract was originally defined as the mutual expectation of two parties. Rousseau (2004) indicated that a psychological contract includes various unique personal details. A relational contract includes loyalty and stability. Employees with relational contracts are more willing to work, to help coworkers at work, and to support changes in the organization. In addition, the term transactional contract refers to short-term duties or a single situation. Employees with transactional contracts would persist only in definite conditions.

WORK ATTITUDE

Yu (2006) suggested that work attitude consists of the employees' identification with the organization, their devotion to work, and work satisfaction. Thus, the employees' organizational identification, devotion to work, and work satisfaction are described below.

Organizational identification Miller, Allen, Casey, and Johnson (2000) suggested that organizational identification occurs when employees consider themselves as part of the organization, identify with the mission, values, and objectives of the organization and include organizational benefits in managerial decisions. Work devotion Kanungo (1982) defined work devotion as an individual's psychological identification and participation at work. Marshall, Lassk, and Moncrief (2004) suggested that work devotion is defined as employees' psychological identification with the work.

Work satisfaction Hoppock (1935) initially defined work satisfaction as employees' psychological, emotional, and physical feelings as well as their natural reaction to their work environment.

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