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Downsizing and survivor reactions in Malaysia: modelling antedecents and outcomes of psychological contract violation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2010
<mark>Journal</mark>The International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number11
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)1793-1815
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study provides an empirical test of a model of antecedents and consequences of psychological contract violation (PCV) caused by the experience of downsizing. A longitudinal survey method was used to collect data at two different points in time (a month after downsizing, and eight months later) from a sample of 281 survivors from a large Malaysian organization going through downsizing. Respondents were from the headquarters (HQ), factories and subsidiaries located across the country and were employed across hierarchical positions including managers, supervisors, technical, operating and administrative staff. A causal model is proposed and tested. The model proposes that the perception of justice and negative affectivity at time 1 (T1) predict PCV, which in turn predicts three attitudinal and behavioural outcomes of commitment, organizational citizenship behaviours (OCBs) and turnover intentions at time 2 (T2). Three variations of the model (fully-mediated, partially-mediated and unmediated) were tested with structural equation modelling. The results show that both the perception of justice and negative affectivity significantly predict PCV, and that there is a direct effect between PCV and commitment, an indirect effect between PCV and OCBs, and both direct and indirect effects between PCV and turnover intentions. The findings demonstrate the utility of psychological contact framework in explaining survivor reactions to downsizing.