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The Content of the Psychological Work Contract for Frontline Police Officers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2012

Donald A.J. Cable*
The University of Waikato, New Zealand
address for correspondence: Donald Cable, The University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Email:
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Adding to the field of knowledge on the content of the psychological work contract, structured interviews with 35 frontline police officers generated 662 responses relating to the content of the psychological work contract for this employment sector. Analysis of these responses resulted in the development of an initial two-component measure of the contract. One component (17 items) reflected the obligations arising from the promises officers believed the organisation had made to them. The other component (19 items) reflected the obligations arising from the promises officers believed they had made to the organisation. The measure was included in a survey completed by 84 frontline police officers. Factor analysis revealed two factors in each component. For the organisation's obligations component, one factor reflected obligations related more to the organisational environment, whereas the other factor reflected obligations related more to the job environment. For the employee's obligations component, one factor reflected obligations related more to behaviours on the job, whereas the other factor reflected obligations related more to the pursuit of development opportunities. The nature of the relationships that emerged between the psychological contract and the nomological network variables included in the study provide strong support for the validity of this measure of the psychological contract.

Copyright © The Authors 2012

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