Social contract and psychological contract: a comparison

  • Pesqueux Y
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Abstract

Purpose – The concept of contract contributes extensively to an essentialist conception of the organization (the contract would then be its essence), a descriptive method (describing the organization as a contract or set of contracts), and a normative standpoint. More recently, it has been epitomized by the “psychological contract”. The concept of contract is about will, agreement, obligation, promise, commitment, staying true to one's commitments, cooperation, sanction and bond. The purpose of this paper is to discuss these manifestations prior to comparing the notion of social contract with psychological contract based on two criteria: an anthropology of the individual and an anthropology of the contract.Design/methodology/approach – After delineating the notion of contract (and its correlates agency, gift, exchange and association) and reviewing the “epithet‐based” contracts, the two dimensions of the contract (social and psychological) will be addressed and compared based on two anthropologies, one of...

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Authors

  • Yvon Pesqueux

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