This research investigated the relationships among pre‐entry expectations, post‐entry experiences and psychological contract violations. The goal was to clarify the conceptual distinctions between the constructs and to test their differential impact on job satisfaction. In a national longitudinal study, 235 final‐year occupational therapy students were surveyed immediately prior to entering the profession and again 14 months later. Post‐entry experiences regarding supervision were found to predict psychological contract violation. Post‐entry experiences and psychological contract violations were found to jointly predict job satisfaction, with psychological contract violations demonstrating the stronger relationship. Pre‐entry expectations were positively correlated with job satisfaction, but this relationship was fully mediated by post‐entry experiences. Met expectations, as measured by an interaction between pre‐entry expectations and post‐entry experiences, was not a predictor of psychological contract violation. Nor did met expectations predict job satisfaction after controlling for contract violations. The findings reinforce a positive relationship between job satisfaction and turnover. These findings support the use of separate and commensurate measures of pre‐entry expectations and post‐entry experiences, and the integration of all three constructs in models of job satisfaction.
Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 2004
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