Definitions and Related Concepts

  • Maida Petersitzke

There is an ongoing debate about the appropriate definition of a psychological contract. This debate peaked in the middle of the 1990s and probably culminated with an exchange of arguments published in the Journal of Organisational Behaviour in 1998. Since then the debate has cooled down although most of the central issues are still unresolved. Generally, there are two kinds of definition of the psychological contract. Followers of Denise Rousseau and her colleagues define the psychological contract as a mental model of an individual employee about his or her employment relationship. The second most common definition of psychological contracts views the construct as an exchange relationship between two parties. This kind of definition is based on work by Argyris (1960) and Schein (1970).


Mental Model Turnover Intention Psychological Contract Exchange Relationship Employment Relationship 
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© Gabler | GWV Fachverlage GmbH 2009

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  • Maida Petersitzke

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