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Psychological Contracts: A Nano-Level Perspective On Social Contract Theory

J. A. Thompson, David W. Hart
Published 2005 · Economics

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Social contract theory has been criticized as a “theory in search of application.” We argue that incorporating the nano, or individual, level of analysis into social contract inquiry will yield more descriptive theory. We draw upon the psychological contract perspective to address two critiques of social contract theory: its rigid macro-orientation and inattention to the process of contract formation. We demonstrate how a psychological contract approach offers practical insight into the impact of social contracting on day-to-day human interaction. We then articulate several potentially testable propositions that emerge from this nano-level perspective.
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