The Role of Perceived Violation in Determining Employees' Reactions to Psychological Contract Breach

By Suazo, Mark M.; Turnley, William H. et al. | Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, Fall 2005 | Go to article overview

The Role of Perceived Violation in Determining Employees' Reactions to Psychological Contract Breach


Suazo, Mark M., Turnley, William H., Mai-Dalton, Renate R., Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies


Using a racially diverse sample of 234 professional employees, this research investigated the impact of psychological contract breach and psychological contract violation on several work outcomes. Specifically, this research examined psychological contract violation as the key intervening (mediating) variable between psychological contract breach and various employee attitudes and behaviors. The results suggest that psychological contract breach is positively related to intent to quit, negatively related to professional commitment, and negatively related to employees' in-role and extra-role work performance. Moreover, psychological contract violation fully mediated the relationship between psychological contract breach and intent to quit and professional commitment.

**********

Psychological contracts help to define the relationship between employees and their organizations (Argyris, 1960; Rousseau, 1989). In particular, psychological contracts specify what employees believe they owe their organizations and what they believe they are owed in return (Rousseau, 1995). Most prior research has conceptualized the psychological contract as one aspect of the social exchange relationship that exists between individuals and their organizations (e.g., Robinson & Morrison, 1995). Social exchange relationships (Blau, 1964; Homans, 1961) are comprised of the voluntary actions that each party engages in with the expectation that the other party will reciprocate those actions in one way or another. Although the exact nature of the exchange relationship is not fully specified in advance, a general expectation of reciprocity guides its development.

A central element in the psychological contract is the employee's belief that the organization will live up to its promises and commitments. When an employee perceives that the organization has failed to fulfill its promises or obligations, then the employee experiences psychological contract breach (Rousseau, 1995). That is, psychological contract breach is defined as the employee's cognition that he/she has received less than was promised (Morrison & Robinson, 1997). As such, psychological contract breach typically creates the perception of an imbalance in the social exchange relationship.

Psychological contract violation is related to, but conceptually distinct from, psychological contract breach. Specifically, psychological contract violation is defined as the emotional or affective state that may (but does not always) result from the perception of psychological contract breach (Morrison & Robinson, 1997). Thus, psychological contract violation has been described as the feelings of anger, injustice, resentment, and distrust that arise from the realization that the organization has not honored the psychological contract (Raja, Johns, & Ntalianis, 2004).

Most prior research on psychological contracts has focused on examining the outcomes of psychological contract breach. This research has consistently demonstrated that psychological contract breach is related to a wide range of undesirable employee attitudes and behaviors such as reduced trust (Robinson, 1996), lower job satisfaction (Tekleab, Takeuchi, & Taylor, 2005; Turnley & Feldman, 1998), poorer moods (Conway & Briner, 2002), less organizational commitment (Guzzo, Noonan, & Elron, 1994), increased turnover (Turnley & Feldman, 1999), and decreased performance of in-role and extra-role work behaviors (Robinson & Morrison, 1995; Turnley, Bolino, Lester, & Bloodgood, 2003).

While the direct outcomes of psychological contract breach have been widely studied, relatively less attention has been paid to the processes through which psychological contract breach is related to the outcomes identified above. Indeed, only one empirical study (Raja et al., 2004) has examined whether the relationship between psychological contract breach and work-related outcomes might be mediated by the employees' experience of psychological contract violation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Role of Perceived Violation in Determining Employees' Reactions to Psychological Contract Breach
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.