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The employee-organisation relationship of university academics: social exchange, psychological contract & organsational support perspectives

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dc.contributor.advisor Heraty, Noreen
dc.contributor.advisor Morley, Michael O'Driscoll, Finian 2014-01-15T16:57:02Z 2014-01-15T16:57:02Z 2013
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract While the Higher Education literature is replete with studies investigating the effects the work environment has on the employment relationship and job-related attitudes of academics, there is a paucity of empirical research which directly examines the underlying nature of the exchange mechanisms manifest within this environment. Therefore, in response to calls to expand our understanding of factors which influence employee attitudinal outcomes in the workplace, this study sought to investigate those mechanisms which reflect and influence the employee-organisation relationship of University academics. Grounding itself within the broad framework of Social Exchange Theory, the present study utilised and integrated Psychological Contract and Organisational Support Theories as exemplar representations of the exchange approach to the employment relationship. Quantitative results from an on-line cross-sectional survey of 445 university academics unearthed the presence of two distinct clusters of employee-organisation relationship as evidenced by two contrasting forms of psychological contract. In turn, each exchange relationship reflected differential levels of job satisfaction, affective commitment, normative commitment, perceived organisational support and perceptions of psychological contract breach, violation and fulfilment. Multiple regression analyses confirmed that the underlying nature of the exchange relationship significantly explained work-related attitudes. As such, compared to academics experiencing a weak, more transactional type of exchange relationship, academics holding a strong, relational type psychological contract were more satisfied in their work, more committed to their academic institution, felt more supported by their University and perceived less psychological contract infringements. Accounting for different levels of exchange relationship, it was found that perceptions of psychological contract breach and violation were significant negative predictors of work outcomes, and that violation had varying mediational effects on the relationship between breach and employee attitudes. Additionally, perceived organisational support returned as an important determinant of the exchange relationship of academics to the extent that for some academics, the presence of University support represented a fulfilment of their psychological contract, and for others it ‘buffered’ the negative effects of breach. Qualitative analysis of 192 open-ended responses revealed a number of issues pertaining to fairness and equity in the exchange relationship, value and recognition of contribution, teaching/workload demands and negative support perceptions; as salient concerns for the employee-organisation relationship of academics. Implications for University management and future directions for research are discussed in light of the study’s findings. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject academics en_US
dc.subject employment relationships en_US
dc.title The employee-organisation relationship of university academics: social exchange, psychological contract & organsational support perspectives en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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