The role of Confucianism in the formation of psychological contracts: Evidence from China

Insu Kwon1, Juil Lee2, Ranran Wang1, Sang-Joon Kim3
1College of Business Administration, Sejong University, Republic of Korea
2Yonsei Business Research Institute, Yonsei University, Republic of Korea
3Ewha School of Business, Ewha Womans University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Kwon, I., Lee, J., Wang, R., & Kim, S.-J. (2018). The role of Confucianism in the formation of psychological contracts: Evidence from China. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 46(9), 1499-1512.

Volume 46 Issue 9 | e7070 | Published: September 2018 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.7070

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We investigated the role of cultural factors in the formation of psychological contracts in a Chinese context, on the basis that psychological contracts are different in different cultures. In particular, we considered Confucianism, which can govern the formation of psychological contracts in an Asian context. As people with different personalities make different psychological contracts, we hypothesized that the Asian-specific factor of Confucianism would moderate the relationship between 3 personality factors, namely, neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness, and the formation of psychological contracts. Thus, we surveyed 217 people employed in organizations in China, and found a moderating effect of Confucianism on the relationship between conscientiousness and relational psychological contracts. These findings suggest that when Confucianism is internalized, the Chinese workplace environment can be effectively managed by relational psychological contracts. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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