A study into changes in the psychological contracts held by newcomer recruits into the British Army is reported. Following a review of the disparate literatures on organizational socialization and the psychological contract, the need for integrative research which examines changes in perceived expectations during the organizational entry process is asserted. Four specific hypotheses are derived from this review. A sample of 880 recruits completed questionnaire measures on day one and 314 subsequently eight weeks into training. Responses were compared against a sample of 1157 experienced ‘insider’ soldiers. It was found that newcomers' expectations of the Army increased significantly on several dimensions; that these changes were predicted by learning about Army life; that perceived importance of dimensions of Army life increased; and most importantly, that these changes were generally toward the insider norms of experienced soldiers. The implications of the developing nature of the psychological contract are discussed. Copyright © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Organizational Behavior – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1998
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