The ebb and flow of psychological contract breach in relation to perceived organizational support: Reciprocal relationships over time

Yannick Griep, Sarah Bankins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Perceived organizational support (POS) is commonly treated as a consequence of perceived psychological contract breach (PCB). However, because both concepts assume a mutual exchange relationship in which each party makes assessments of, and then decides how to reciprocate, the other party’s contributions, this article propounds that the PCB–POS relationship is recursive. By drawing on Conservation of Resources (COR) Theory, the authors argue that following an initial PCB, low levels of POS may then increase the likelihood of perceiving further PCBs through reduced management trust, thus generating a resource loss spiral. By estimating a two-level time-lagged mediation model on weekly data from 338 Canadian employees (1215 observations), the findings support the reciprocal PCB–POS relationship, and show that POS and PCB form a vicious cycle of resource loss. The authors suggest avenues for future research and practical implications relating to the role of time and resources in preventing further exchange deterioration.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jan 2020



  • Conservation of resources
  • management trust
  • perceived organizational support
  • psychological contract
  • resource loss spirals
  • time
  • violation feelings

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