Bouncing back from psychological contract breach: how commitment recovers over time

Omar N. Solinger, Joeri Hofmans, Matthijs Bal, Paul G. W. Jansen

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The post-violation model of the psychological contract outlines four ways in which a psychologicalcontract may be resolved after breach (i.e., psychological contract thriving, reactivation, impairment,and dissolution). To explore the implications of this model for post-breach restoration of organizationalcommitment, we recorded dynamic patterns of organizational commitment across afine-grained longitudi-nal design in a sample of young academics who reported breach events while undergoing job changes(N= 109). By tracking organizational commitment up until 10 weeks after thefirst reported breach event,we ascertain that employees may indeed bounce back from a breach incidence, albeit that some employeesdo so more successfully than others. We further demonstrate that the emotional impact of the breach andpost-breach perceived organizational support are related to the success of the breach resolution process.Additionally, we reveal a nonlinear component in post-breach trajectories of commitment that suggeststhat processes determining breach resolution success are more complex than currently assumed. Copyright© 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-514
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number4
Early online date18 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • commitment
  • psychological contract
  • coping
  • process
  • within-person
  • functional data analysis
  • repair
  • recovery
  • resilience


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