Tracking employees' twists and turns

describing a mixed methods approach to assessing change in the psychological contract

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The psychological contract is a key analytical device utilised by both academics and practitioners to conceptualise and explore the operation of the employment relationship. However, despite the recognised importance of the construct, some authors suggest that its empirical investigation has fallen into a ‘methodological rut’ [Conway & Briner, 2005, p. 89] and neglects to assess key tenets of the concept, such as its temporal and dynamic nature. This paper outlines the research design of a longitudinal, mixed methods study which draws upon the strengths of both qualitative and quantitative modes of inquiry in order to explore the development of, and changes in, the psychological contract. Supported by a critical realist philosophy, the paper offers a research design suitable for exploring the processes of change not only within the psychological contract, but also similar constructs in the human resource management and broader organisational behaviour fields.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-366
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Multiple Research Approaches
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • psychological contract change
  • mixed methods
  • longitudinal, critical realism
  • individual growth modelling

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