The Use of a Sequential Multi Method Research Design in Exploring Psychological Contracts within Academia

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Abstract

It has been argued that in a workplace environment that is characterised by significant change and uncertainty, the formation and content of the psychological contracts that exist are of increasing importance regarding levels of employee trust, satisfaction, commitment and motivation, and teaching and research outcomes. While research has clearly demonstrated that psychological contracts can have considerable impact upon workplace relations and employee performance, research into the formation, content and effects of psychological contracts between academics and the University has been very limited. The paper used a sequential multi methods research design to explore the formation and content of psychological contracts established by the academics within an Australian University. The focus groups were carried first to identify the issues and themes that can subsequently be drawn upon to assist with development of relevant survey questions. Focus groups sought to elicit insights and subjective interpretations of the psychological contracts and the consequences of perceived fulfilment or breach. This, first qualitative phase of research has identified four key foci of academic responsibility that greatly influenced the formation and effects of the psychological contracts that have been formed, and these are: the University, the discipline, society, and students. These four categories were used later on to further develop the questionnaire and carry out exploratory factor analysis of a larger survey of the academics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECRM 2008 Proceedings
EditorsAnn Brown
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Publishing Limited
Pages209-218
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781906638023
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventEuropean Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies - Regents College, London, UK, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Jun 200820 Jun 2008

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period19/06/0820/06/08

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