Individualism, collectivism, selected personality traits, and psychological contract in employment
A comparative study
College of Business and Public Administration, Governors State University, University Park, Illinois, USA, and
College of Public Administration, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China
Purpose – This study seeks to examine the relationship between individual’s cultural values of individualism, collectivism, selected personality traits and the psychological contracts they tend to form. Design/methodology/approach – Surveys were used to collect data from China and US sample sets. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to explore the impact of selected cultural values and personality traits on individuals’ tendency to form transactional contract or relational contract. Findings – Personality characteristics of equity sensitivity and external locus of control were found to be positively related to transactional contract type for both samples, and conscientiousness was found to be positively related to relational contract, but the relationship was only found for the Chinese sample. The impact of the individualistic cultural value on the type of psychological contract one forms with the employer is uncertain, but the individualism value was found to have a mediator effect between age and transactional contract type for the Chinese sample. Practical implications – The study contributes evidence that can help explain why employees who face the same job conditions and employment relationships may develop different psychological contracts with their employers. The finding on the mediating effect of individualism between age and transactional contract highlight challenges faced by managers in China’s changing economy in terms of motivating and
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Miles, E.W., Hatfield, J.D. and Huseman, R.C. (1994), ‘‘Equity sensitivity and outcome importance’’, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 15, pp. 585-96. About the authors Jun Zhao is an Associate Professor of Management within the College of Business and Public Administration, Governors State University in University Park, IL, USA. She received her DBA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Her research interests include corporate restructuring, organizational downsizing, psychological contract, and cross-cultural management studies. She has published papers in the Academy of Management Review and various national and international conference proceedings. Jun Zhao is the corresponding author and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org Lijun Chen is an associate professor in the Government Department of the College of Public Administration, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China. She received her PhD from the College of Science, Zhejiang University Psychology Department. She is a 2006-2007 Fulbright Research Scholar in the Raj Soin College of Business, Wright State University, USA. Her research interests include individual and organizational integrity, integrity tests, business ethics, psychological contract, and cross-cultural management. To purchase reprints of this article please e-mail: email@example.com Or visit our web site for further details: www.emeraldinsight.com/reprints Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.