Discharge Policy Information in the Job Offer Letter: Its Impact on Recruit Perceptions of Psychological Contract Formation and Organizational Attraction

  • Jessica McKinney
  • Brian G. Whitaker
  • Hugh Hindman


Using a 2 × 2 design, this study incorporates psychological contract theory and the “good cause norm” to investigate discharge policy information and implied promises of job security on reactions to the job offer letter. Results indicate that while embedded implied promises significantly increase perceptions of organizational attraction relative to a control, they demonstrate no discernable effects on recruit perceptions of organizational psychological contract obligations. Furthermore, embedded at-will disclaimers, alone or in combination with implied promises, significantly reduce perceptions of organizational attractiveness and organizational psychological contract obligations. Implications are discussed.

Key words

Psychological contract Good cause norm Recruitment Job offer letter At-will Organizational attractiveness 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica McKinney
    • 1
  • Brian G. Whitaker
    • 2
  • Hugh Hindman
    • 3
  1. 1.Avatar Management ServicesMacedoniaUSA
  2. 2.Department of ManagementAppalachian State UniversityBooneUSA
  3. 3.Department of ManagementAppalachian State UniversityBooneUSA

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