Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Affective Commitment Through The Sensemaking of A Psychological Contract Breach in Small, Family-Owned Businesses: An Interview Study
by Lang, Lynn Ann, Ph.D., University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 2018, 124; 10933002
Abstract (Summary)

Psychological contract breach in the workplace has become more commonplace and can have adverse effects on both employee and organization. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore how employees perceive a breach, make sense of the breach, and express their affective commitment after the breach so that it may provide information to organizations to improve their policies and processes. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with fifteen participants from six different small family owned businesses. The psychological contract breach of not receiving a raise or bonus was explored through the seven properties of sensemaking and participants were asked to describe their affective commitment after the breach. Analysis of the interviews showed the employees expressed ownership of the organization, justification of the breach, attachment to the organization and other employees, and a sense of collectivism following a psychological contract breach. Practical implications for small family business owners include being aware of promises being made, understanding that the perception of a breach can be why employee behavior changes, and being enlightened as to why employees stay after a breach to maintain a positive working relationship. Providing a sense of ownership, aiding justification, fostering an attachment to the organization and other employees, and developing a sense of collectivism are important when managing psychological contract breaches in small family owned businesses.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chase, Tyrone
Commitee: Attoh, Prince, Gong, Tao, Truong, Hoai-An
School: University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Department: Department of Education
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 81/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Organizational behavior, Organization Theory
Keywords: Affective commitment, Psychological contract breach, Sensemaking
Publication Number: 10933002
ISBN: 9781085560924
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