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Managing the Psychological Contract within Doctoral Supervisory Relationships

Emerging Directions in Doctoral Education

ISBN: 978-1-78560-135-4, eISBN: 978-1-78560-134-7

ISSN: 2055-3641

Publication date: 30 March 2016


The context of contemporary higher education is changing, with ever-increasing student numbers and escalating demands on academics. In response, developing greater awareness and understanding of doctoral psychological contracts can help mitigate the ‘problem’ of mismatched expectations and their negative consequences. In this chapter, I review literature on doctoral supervisory relationships and highlight the paucity of research on the psychological contract. To address this, I present an autoethnographic, mixed-methods approach exploring expectations and obligations from student and supervisor perspectives. Offering insights into the complexity and diversity of doctoral psychological contracts, I conclude with recommendations for theory and practice.


Sambrook, S. (2016), "Managing the Psychological Contract within Doctoral Supervisory Relationships", Emerging Directions in Doctoral Education (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 61-87.



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