Research Publications

The Mutuality and Reciprocity Lab is committed to producing high quality research that makes meaningful contributions to the literature on employee-employer relationships from a theoretical, methodological, and practical point of view. Below you can find our most recent publications. Enjoy the read!


the relationship between psychological contract breach and counterproductive work BEHAVIOUR in social enterprises: Do paid employees and volunteers differ?

Griep, Y., Vantilborgh, T., Jones, S. K. (Economic and Industrial Democracy, 2017)

Scholars agree that counterproductive work behavior (CWB) is instigated by psychological contract breach and violation feelings. In this paper, we focus on the mediating role of violation feelings (mixture of negative emotions) in the relationship between psychological contract breach and CWB, and assess whether volunteers and paid employees experience a similar chain of events. We used Mplus 7 to estimate a moderated mediation model with bootstrapping. The results indicated that both paid employees and volunteers (1) experiencing feelings of violation when perceiving psychological contract breach, and (2) engage in CWB targeted to the organization (CWB-O) when experiencing feelings of violation. However, these relationships were not significantly different when comparing paid employees and volunteers. We hence conclude that a similar chain of cognitions and emotions explains why volunteers and paid employees engage in CWB-O. By unraveling this sequence, we unveil possibilities for targeting interventions. 

Keywords: psychological contract breach, violation feelings, counterproductive work behaviour, volunteers, paid employees, social enterprises


Integrating psychological contracts and psychological ownership: The role of employee ideologies, organizational culture, and organizational citizenship behavior

Griep, Y., Wingate, T., & Brys, C. (Psychological Ownership: Theoretical perspectives and applications for multi-cultural contexts, 2017)

Several decades of psychological contract (PC) theorizing and research have provided us with a well-developed and well-supported framework to understand the employee-employer relationship. Most of the research has focused on the negative emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral consequences following the perception of PC breach or the perceived discrepancy between employer inducements and actual delivered inducements. In contrast, far less is known about the influence of individual differences and differences in organizational cultural values in relation to the PC. Moreover, less is known about the role of PCs in relation to the development of psychological ownership (PO). Consequently, we integrate the literature on PC and PO. By doing so, the aim of this chapter is threefold. First, we propose that differences in employee exchange and creditor ideology at the individual level and differences in cultural values at the organizational level relate differently to the formation of relational and transactional PCs. Second, we propose that these relational and transactional PCs relate differently to the emergence of PO in the workplace. Third, we propose that the development of PO relates differently to ‘good soldier’ versus ‘good actor’ organizational behaviors. In this chapter we limited ourselves to propose and discuss the effects of dispositional (i.e., creditor and exchange ideology) and cultural (i.e., individualism and collectivism) differences at the level of the individual and the organization because the PC concerns an individual’s mental schema that serves to help to understand one’s current and future exchange relationship with the employer. We end this chapter by discussing the practical implications and future avenues of the proposed conceptual model.

Keywords: psychological contract, psychological ownership, social exchange ideology, creditor ideology, cultural differences, organizational citizenship behaviors


Forget about the glass ceiling, I am stuck in a glass box: A META-ETHNOGRAPHY of work participation for persons with physical disabilities

Purc-Stephenson, Jones, S. K., & Ferguson, C. L. (Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 2017)

Finding and sustaining employment can be a challenge for persons with a physical disability (PwPD) because they may be limited in the work they can do, may require workplace accommodations, or experience discrimination. Our aim was to understand how successfully employed PwPDs find and sustain employment, and to use this information to build a conceptual model. We searched published studies on physical disability and employment from electronic databases (1980–2015) and bibliographical reviews of retrieved studies. We used meta-ethnography to synthesize the findings. We reviewed 19 studies and identified 10 themes highlighting common issues experienced by PwPDs. Using these themes, we developed a process model to illustrate the dynamic employment process PwPDs’ experience and the factors that create barriers or facilitators as they attempt to find, maintain employment, and/or advance at work. PwPDs encounter a range of barriers at different stages of their employment journey which make them feel “stuck” and “exposed” in lower-level positions with little opportunity to advance or to move laterally within an organization. This study provides a framework to help rehabilitation specialists, employers, and researchers understand what PwPDs need at each stage of their employment journey to attain more sustainable employment outcomes. 

Keywords: Employment, disabled persons, qualitative research, meta-ethnography, social stigma


Can volunteering in later life reduce the risk of dementia? A 5-Year longitudinal study among volunteering and non-volunteering retired seniors? 

Griep, Y., Magnusson Hanson, L., Vantilborgh, T., Janssens, L., Jones, S. K., & Hyde, M. (PlosOne, 2017)

In this paper we propose that voluntary work, characterized by social, physical and cognitive activity in later life is associated with fewer cognitive problems and lower dementia rates. We test these assumptions using 3-wave, self-reported, and registry data from the 2010, 2012, and 2014 Swedish National Prescribed Drug Register. We had three groups of seniors in our data: 1) no volunteering (N = 531), 2) discontinuous volunteering (N = 220), and 3) continuous volunteering (N = 250). We conducted a path analysis in Mplus to investigate the effect of voluntary work (discontinuously and continuously) on self-reported cognitive complaints and the likelihood of being prescribed an anti-dementia treatment after controlling for baseline and relevant background variables. Our results indicated that seniors, who continuously volunteered, reported a decrease in their cognitive complaints over time, whereas no such associations were found for the other groups. In addition, they were 2.44 (95%CI [1.86 ; 3.21]) and 2.46 (95%CI [1,89 ; 3.24]) times less likely to be prescribed an anti-dementia treatment in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Our results largely support the assumptions that voluntary work in later life is associated with lower self-reported cognitive complaints and a lower risk for dementia, relative to those who do not engage, or only engage episodically in voluntary work. 

Keywords: Self-reported cognitive problems; Likelihood of dementia; Volunteering in later life; Longitudinal change