The relationship between students and their academic institution is based on exchange. However, we have limited knowledge regarding how many exchanges students perceive, who (or what) the perceived exchange partners are, and what the perceived terms of those exchanges contain. To address this gap, we utilized a mixed-method approach to explore and describe the psychological contracts of two sets of undergraduate university students: newly entering freshman, and experienced university students. Results clearly demonstrated that students perceive numerous psychological contracts relevant to their education with a variety of partners both inside and at the boundaries of the institution. Results also demonstrated that these contracts are qualitatively and quantitatively distinct. The overarching implication of these findings is that students navigate a web of diverse exchange partners, and it would be a mistake for educators and researchers to focus exclusively on one or few relationships presupposed to be most important.
Research in Higher Education – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 13, 2017
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