A Trickle-Down Model of Psychological Contract Breach
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Abstract This dissertation asks the question, how does the role of managers’ relationships with their bosses and with their organization influence (a) the quality of exchange they have with their employees (leader-member exchange and perceived organizational support) and (b) their employees’ receipt of job-related resources (social resources, task resources)? These employee perceptions of relationships and resources are linked to a typology of psychological contract (“PC”) breach, or the perception of broken promises (relational, transactional, and generalized PC breach). In doing so, drawing on social exchange theory (Blau, 1964; Gouldner, 1960) and social information processing (Salacik & Pfeffer, 1978), this dissertation models how relationships and resources that managers have trickle down to affect the relationships and resources their employees have, and how these employee relationships and resources are related to perceptions of different types of broken promises (Rousseau, 1995). Results indicate that resources (task and social resources) are more likely than relationships (leader-member exchange, perceived organizational support) to trickle-down from manager to employee. Additionally, the greater the social resources trickle-down effect, the less likely an employee’s relational psychological contract is breached, and the greater the task resources trickle-down effect, the less likely an employee perceives PC breach by his or her manager. Type of PC breach had cross-foci effects on behavioral outcomes (in-role and extra-role performance).