The critical role of time on perceived employee and employer obligations: A new direction in the study of psychological contracts

Principal Investigator: Samantha Hansen

Department: Management

Grant Names: SSHRC ; Insight Grant ;

Award Years: 2018 to 2023


This research program will be the first to systematically study psychological contract (PC) breach as it relates to time. PCs are a person's perceptions of their own and another's obligations to each other. When employees believe that their organization has breached its obligations for things like work-life balance or developmental opportunities, they become angry, distrustful, disloyal, and counter-productive. In Canada, this poses an urgent problem. 84% of employees feel disengaged from their employer, costing companies $550 billion a year. 
This multi-method research program will integrate the study of PCs and time by exploring how time creates and changes PC breach perceptions and negative reactions including turnover, and lowered performance and satisfaction. We will map complex timing trajectories of breach and reactions, and explore how individual and contextual factors can facilitate prevention of, and recovery from, breach.
Our findings will advance knowledge by offering valuable evidence-based insight into how private, non-profit, government, and military organizations can prevent breach, and when prevention is not feasible, such as during organizational change, how they can effectively repair damaged relationships with employees to restore individual and organizational wellbeing.