Ideological Currency in the Psychological Contracts of Corporate Manufacturing Employees

  • Alan J. Krause
  • Sarah Y. Moore


Previous research on employee psychological contracts has focused on three different types of expectations that workers have of their employers: transactional exchange of economic currency, relational exchange of socioemotional currency, and, more recently, covenantal exchange of ideological currency. This last type of currency, however, has been studied almost entirely in nonprofit workplaces among employees in helping professions (e.g., healthcare, education) who hold advanced degrees. Although not explicit in the extant literature, the implication of such is that expressions of ideological currency may be limited to certain types of professions. In the present study, we therefore analyzed both white and blue-collar employees’ ideological expectations in a corporate, for-profit, manufacturing environment. Using 1492 responses to an open-ended question received from an email survey, we found that 36% contained an expression of ideological currency, with an additional 44.8% possessing a possible expression of ideological currency. Comparisons of these expressions reveal many similarities between white and blue-collar employees within this organization as well as between these employees and those found in the published literature from workers in other industries. We discuss the implications of these findings for theory and future research.


Psychological contract Ideological Professional 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by either of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business and LeadershipUniversity of Puget SoundTacomaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Puget SoundTacomaUSA

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