• Making sense of a new employment relationship: psychological contract-related information seeking and the role of work values and locus of control

      De Vos, Ans; Buyens, Dirk; Schalk, M.J.D. (René) (Vlerick Business School, 2003)
      This paper explores the information-seeking behaviors newcomers engage in relating to their psychological contract and addresses the impact of work values (Autonomy, Advancement, Group Orientation and Economic Rewards) and Work Locus of Control. We propose that these individual characteristics could explain differences in the frequency with which newcomers search for information about the promises their employer has made to them. A two-wave longitudinal study was conducted in which 527 newcomers from eight organizations (representing 3 sectors) participated. The results largely support the proposed relationships between work values and contract-related information seeking, while the relation between Work Locus of Control and contract-related information seeking is rather weak. Implications for psychological contract formation are discussed.
    • Psychological contract development during organizational socialization: adaptation to reality and the role of reciprocity

      De Vos, Ans; Buyens, Dirk; Schalk, M.J.D. (René) (Vlerick Business School, 2003)
      Based on the theoretical framework of newcomer sensemaking this study examines factors associated with changes in newcomers' psychological contract perceptions during the socialization process. More specifically, two mechanisms are addressed that could explain changes in newcomers' perceptions of the promises they have exchanged with their employer: (1) unilateral adaptation of perceived promises to reality and (2) adaptation of perceived promises as a function of the reciprocity norm. To test our hypotheses, a four-wave longitudinal study among 333 new hires has been conducted, covering the first year of their employment relationship. Results show that changes in newcomers' perceptions of the promises they have made to their employer are affected by their perceptions of their own contributions as well as by their perceptions of inducements received from their employer. Changes in newcomers' perceptions of employer promises are affected by their perceptions of employer inducements received, but the impact of perceived employee contributions is less clear. The data provide limited support for the idea that the adaptation of perceived promises to perceived inducements and contributions occurs to a stronger extent during the encounter stage than during the acquisition stage of socialization.