One job, one deal… or not: do generations respond differently to psychological contract fulfillment?

XD Lub, P.M. Bal, RJ Blomme, R Schalk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper investigates generational differences in the relations between psychological contract fulfillment and work attitudes. Data were collected from a sample of 909 employees in the Dutch service sector. Structural equation modeling analyses were used to test the moderating effects of generational differences on the influence of psychological contract fulfillment on affective commitment and turnover intention. The relationship between psychological contract fulfillment and these work outcomes was moderated by generational differences. Furthermore, results indicate that different generations respond differently to different aspects of psychological contract fulfillment, such as career development, job content, organizational policies, social atmosphere and rewards. The study provides evidence that generational differences impact the reciprocal relationship between employer and employee. Results from this study suggest that Baby Boomers and Generation X may be more motivated by social atmosphere, whereas Generation Y may be more motivated by job content and career development. Fair organizational policies are particularly motivating to Generation X, and providing rewards, though more important to Generation Y, seem mostly unrelated to work outcomes. This article is the first to study the moderation of generational differences in the relationships between psychological contract fulfillment and work outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-680
Number of pages28
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • affective commitment
  • generational differences
  • generations
  • psychological contract fulfillment
  • turnover intentions

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