Author: Bavik, Yuen Lam
Title: A social projection perspective to psychological contract overfulfillment and employee gratitude
Advisors: Liu, Wu (MM)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2020
Subject: Organizational behavior
Industrial relations
Employee motivation
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Management and Marketing
Pages: 124 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: This dissertation sheds light on the implications of psychological contract overfulfillment. The predominant theoretical views in the psychological contract literature suggest that employees often reciprocate with reactions in accordance to their psychological contract is fulfilled. This implies that psychological contract overfulfillment would generally result in more positive employee reactions, but empirical findings have not been entirely consistent with this view. This study proposes a model that examines whether, when, and how psychological contract overfulfillment is related to positive employee reactions. Drawing on social projection theory, I argue that psychological contract overfulfillment is more positively related to gratitude among employees low in social dominance orientation, because they attribute the overfulfilled inducements to their employer's prosocial motives based on their own ideological belief. To test the theory, three studies were conducted in the context of individualized employment relationships. Study 1 consisted of semi-structured interviews with 45 foreign domestic helpers and 33 individual employers to explore the presence and the form of psychological contract overfulfillment in the targeted research context. Study 2 was a field survey study that used a critical incident approach to test the main effect of psychological contract overfulfillment (Hypothesis 1) and its interaction effect with social dominance orientation (Hypothesis 2) on employee gratitude. To allow causal inference concerning the effect of psychological contract overfulfillment, in Study 3, a scenario-based experiment was conducted to test the full research model which also includes the mediation and moderated mediation hypotheses (Hypotheses 1 to 4). Overall, findings across three studies provided general support for the hypotheses. Finally, I discuss the contributions and limitations of this dissertation, and the potential directions for future research.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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