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The role of psychological contract breach in determining Chinese civil servants' behavioural responses to organizational change

Shan, B (2012) The role of psychological contract breach in determining Chinese civil servants' behavioural responses to organizational change. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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In order to cope with the challenges brought about by increasing global competition and rapid technological development, organizational change has become the norm. Organizational change has a profound effect on employment relationships, with a particular area of concern being any breaches of the psychological contracts (PCB) and the negative behaviours that result from these. In extant literature concerns the impact of organizational change on employment relationship, however, the perceived obligations that exist in the employment relationship have received less attention. In addition, little research has been undertaken in a Chinese government context, thus, the current study investigated the role such breaches play in determining the behavioural responses of Chinese civil servants to organizational change. The conceptual framework is formed by strategic, structural, process-oriented and people-oriented change, in relation to the psychological contracted breaches associated with the transactional, relational and balanced elements. Finally, with respect to the employees' behavioural responses, the concepts Exit, Voice, Loyalty and Neglect (EVLN) behaviours were used. A positivist approach of "testing-out" was adopted, whereby a specifically-designed questionnaire was used to collect data from 486 civil servants working for the Chinese government. Mutual expectations of both parties in the employment relationship were explored. Analysis involved traditional statistical techniques and included an assessment of biographical data. In certain areas, the outcomes supported Western findings on how, following change, a breach of the psychological contract can impact on employee behaviour. However, variations with previous studies were also found, which were related to the traditional Chinese cultural dimension, Confucius thought and the social phenomena surrounding the post 1980's generation. The discussion resulted in a new conceptual model of PCB being presented, which applies specifically to the cultural context of Chinese civil servants. The study advanced knowledge in a number of ways. Theoretical contributions were made to the psychological contract and particularly the breaches brought about by the change process. Contributions were also made in extending knowledge in the area of employee behaviours, particularly those of Exit, Voice, Loyalty and Neglect. Finally, in investigating the various concepts in the culturally specific environment of China, a contribution was made to public management, international HRM and the general area of culture. Practical contributions were made through recommendations for improvement, with further areas for research also being added.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Liverpool Business School
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2017 11:05
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 23:31
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6174
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