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Multiple Types Of Psychological Contracts: A Six-cluster Solution

M. Janssens, L. Sels, Inge Van Den Brande
Published 2003 · Psychology

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The purpose of this study was to identify a variety of employment relationships based upon an economy-wide, representative sample. We turn to psychological contract studies examining different types of psychological contracts. We expand two existing typologies by incorporating multiple features or underlying dimensions of psychological contracts. Such a feature-oriented approach allows us to construct a meaningful conceptualization of employer and employee obligations across different settings and to identify multiple types of psychological contracts in which combinations of different dimensions are prevalent. Cluster analysis indicates the existence of six types of psychological contracts, all having different patterns of mutual expectations: instrumental, weak, loyal, unattached, investing and strong psychological contract. To validate the six-cluster solution, we develop cluster profiles based upon individual, job, formal contract and organizational characteristics and further differentiate between the clusters by examining their outcomes in terms of affective commitment and employability.
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