Psychological contract research: older, but is it wiser?

Neil Conway, Claire Pekcan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We provide a critical introduction to the psychological contract by reviewing important challenges researchers have raised previously against the psychological contract, and outline gaps in understanding that can guide future research. We focus on nine key challenges and for each we consider why the challenge is important and the extent it has been addressed. What emerges from our review is that, while there have been several major critiques of the psychological contract, the challenges raised by these critiques in terms of addressing fundamental aspects of the psychological contract – such as its implicitness, the nature of the exchange, the interaction of the two parties, how it should be managed – have been largely unaddressed. We believe that the best way to advance understanding of psychological contracts is to revisit the challenges, along with and the associated issues of designing empirical research to investigate complex implicit, multiparty, intersubjective phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on the Psychological Contract at Work
PublisherEdward Elgar
ISBN (Electronic)eISBN: 978 1 78811 568 1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

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