This study seeks to examine the relationship between individual's cultural values of individualism, collectivism, selected personality traits and the psychological contracts they tend to form.
Surveys were used to collect data from China and US sample sets. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to explore the impact of selected cultural values and personality traits on individuals' tendency to form transactional contract or relational contract.
Personality characteristics of equity sensitivity and external locus of control were found to be positively related to transactional contract type for both samples, and conscientiousness was found to be positively related to relational contract, but the relationship was only found for the Chinese sample. The impact of the individualistic cultural value on the type of psychological contract one forms with the employer is uncertain, but the individualism value was found to have a mediator effect between age and transactional contract type for the Chinese sample.
The study contributes evidence that can help explain why employees who face the same job conditions and employment relationships may develop different psychological contracts with their employers. The finding on the mediating effect of individualism between age and transactional contract highlight challenges faced by managers in China's changing economy in terms of motivating and retaining young employees.
The study contributes to research on personality and psychological contracts. In the domain of personality, the study attempts to explore how personality affects organizational behavior. From the perspective of psychological contract, the paper contributes evidence that can help explain why employees who face the same job conditions and employment relationships may develop different psychological contracts with their employers.
Zhao, J. and Chen, L. (2008), "Individualism, collectivism, selected personality traits, and psychological contract in employment: A comparative study", Management Research News, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 289-304. https://doi.org/10.1108/01409170810851357
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