The psychological contract of volunteer workers and its consequences
AuthorLiao-Troth, Matthew Allen
AdvisorGilliland, Stephen W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe psychological contract of workers has been a subject of recent interest, in both academic and practitioner organizational literature. While this attention has developed across fields, and several typologies of contracts have been developed, there are many parts of this construct that are not well understood. Among these are the predictors of the psychological contract, the outcomes of the psychological contract, the violation or fulfillment of the psychological contract, and the generalizability of the psychological contract to volunteer organizational members. In this dissertation, I look specifically at the motives of volunteer workers, the consequences of organizational justice and organization commitment, violation of the contract by the organization and by the worker, and the generalizability of the psychological contract to volunteer workers in an organization. Two studies, one field and one lab, are used to assess these relationships. Results indicate that volunteers and paid employees, regardless of motives, do not differ in their psychological contracts when they are in the same organization performing significantly similar work. In terms of consequences, relationships were found between the psychological contract and its fulfillment or violation with organizational commitment and organizational justice. Specifically, relations were found between: transactional psychological contracts and both distributive justice and continuance commitment; benefits psychological contracts and continuance commitment; good faith and fair dealings psychological contracts and distributive, interactional, and procedural justice as well as affective commitment; and intrinsic job characteristics psychological contracts and distributive, interactional, and procedural justice. Not all findings are consistent across both studies. The results have two implications. The first, that volunteers and paid employees do not differ in their psychological contracts, points to the importance of the work environment in determining psychological contracts. The second issue, the relationships between specific aspects of the psychological contract, organizational justice, and organization commitment, establishes the separateness and relatedness of these constructs. Future research will address other predictors of psychological contracts, the fulfillment or violation of specific contracts, and their effect upon job attitudes that impact worker productivity.
Degree ProgramGraduate College