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Examining the relationship between the psychological contract and organisational commitment: The mediating effect of transactional leadership in the UAE context

Fauzia Jabeen (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.)
Mohamed Behery (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E)
Hossam Abu Elanain (College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Publication date: 9 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to examine the impact of the psychological contract, relational psychological contract and transactional psychological contract on organisational commitment as mediated by transactional leadership in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) context. The paper also explores the contractual status to determine if the theory remains valid, regardless of the fact whether one is employed as a contingent or permanent worker.

Design/methodology/approach

This research made a longitudinal study spanning a 24-week time period. Data were collected using a self-administered structured questionnaire prepared in English and Arabic, at three stages representing three visits to the participating companies in the UAE. Pearson’s correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis were used to examine the research hypotheses.

Findings

The results show that the psychological contracts (transactional and relational) are positively related to transactional leadership. This study categorizes several consequential relationships between transactional leadership and organisational commitment. It also advocates that transactional leadership has only a fractional mediating role in relation to relational psychological contract, transactional psychological contract and organisational commitment.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that practitioners and academics alike should note that the nature of the psychological contract employed will impact upon commitment and retention.

Originality/value

This study makes a significant contribution to the body of literature, being the second part of a longitudinal study that aimed at testing the mediating effect of transactional leadership on organisational commitment within the context of the UAE. In the earlier study, the intent was to analyse the role of transformational leadership as a mediator between the psychological contract and organisational commitment. Typically, transformational leadership has been found to partially mediate the above mentioned relationships. In addition, it also advocates that there may be some value in considering the employees’ contractual status with regard to the psychological contract and its impact on organisational commitment.

Keywords

Citation

Jabeen, F., Behery, M. and Abu Elanain, H. (2015), "Examining the relationship between the psychological contract and organisational commitment: The mediating effect of transactional leadership in the UAE context", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 102-122. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOA-10-2014-0812

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited