Quotation Vantilborgh, Tim, Bidee, Jemima, Pepermans, Roland, Willems, Jurgen, Huybrechts, Gert, Jegers, Marc. 2013. From “getting” to “giving”: Exploring age-related differences in perceptions of and reactions to psychological contract balance. European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology. 22 (3), 293-305.




We assess how age relates to the degree of balance in volunteers’ psychological contracts (PCs). Research on PCs treating age as a substantive variable remains scarce in the literature. Nonetheless, this seems important in light of the increasing age-diversity in the voluntary workforce, as several theories suggest that younger and older individuals may prefer different degrees of balance in their PC. Moreover, previous studies have empirically shown that age influences how people respond to other aspects of the PC, such as breach and fulfilment. We hypothesize that volunteers perceive different levels of PC imbalance depending upon their age. More specifically, we argue that older volunteers tend to perceive organization underobligation, whereas younger volunteers tend to perceive organization overobligation. In addition, we hypothesize that age moderates the effects of PC imbalance on the intention to stop volunteering in an organization. We use polynomial regressions and response surface analysis to examine survey data of 401 volunteers. Our results support our hypotheses, thus emphasizing the importance of including individual differences, such as age, in future research on PC balance.


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  • Psychological contract
  • Polynomial regression
  • Age
  • Degree of Balance
  • turnover

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation External
Type of publication Journal article
Journal European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-B, WH-B
Language English
Title From “getting” to “giving”: Exploring age-related differences in perceptions of and reactions to psychological contract balance
Volume 22
Number 3
Year 2013
Page from 293
Page to 305
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268221624_From_''getting''_to_''giving''_Exploring_age-related_differences_in_perceptions_of_and_reactions_to
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2012.721354
Open Access N


Willems, Jurgen (Details)
Bidee, Jemima (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Huybrechts, Gert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Jegers, Marc (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Pepermans, Roland (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Vantilborgh, Tim (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5234 Administrative science (Details)
5308 Management sciences (Details)
5363 Non-profit-sector research (NPO, NPI) (Details)
5501 General psychology (Details)
6906 Public research (Details)
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