Research Methods DB Post Forum 5

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Question One: Discuss the main reasons for writing a literature review.  Discuss in detail how you use the literature to formulate your own testable hypotheses.  How do you cite information found in a literature review?  Who gets the credit? (25 points)

A literature review is a vital in every research for several reasons. The first and the most important reason for writing a literature review is to know what is already known about a topic or subject. According to Bryman & Bell (2018), the literature review gives a researcher the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to engage in scholarly review based on the findings. For one to research a topic, they need to be authorities on the subject and one of the ways to attain mastery is to read what others have done on the topic. The literature review also reveals the concepts and theories relevant to the area of interest. Sandberg & Alvesson (2011) observes that most scholarly research is founded on pre-existing theories and as such, reading the literature review would help the researcher understand the theoretical framework they could utilize in their study. Another essence of reviewing literature is that it helps the researcher to understand the strategies that have been previously used to study the research topic (Bryman & Bell, 2018). For instance, if most of the studies have used a qualitative design, then the researcher might consider using a similar strategy. The literature review also reveals inconsistencies or controversies among the past studies. The controversies or contradictions provide research gaps that researchers could consider filling (Sandberg & Alvesson, 2011). Furthermore, the literature review might also lead the researcher to unanswered questions in the area. To illustrate, if there has been an issue whose findings are inconclusive, it would be a great idea to indulge in such a study.

Having a testable hypothesis is vital in every research and the literature review does help someone to develop such hypotheses.  The literature review reveals many research gaps that might arise from contradictory or inconclusive findings. From the research gaps, the researcher establishes relationships between the study variables (Bryman & Bell, 2018). One the researcher has some idea of the relationship between the study concepts, they can then use the literature review to operationalize the variables. Operationalization is concerned with the conversion of the concepts into measurable variables. After this step, the researcher has a testable hypothesis.

One cites information in a literature review by either the Harvard method or the note/ numeric method. The Harvard method requires the researcher to follow up quoted or paraphrased material with a name of the author and year of publication (Bryman & Bell, 2018). The note or numeric method requires the use of superscript numbers in the text referring to a note at the bottom of the page or end of the text.

Question Two: What is Plagiarism and Why it is a Terrible Offense

Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s work as if it were one’s own and getting the credit for it. There are many variations of plagiarism such as direct and self-plagiarism. Direct plagiarism is a text for text copying of another person’s work (Bryman & Bell, 2018). The internet has contributed to the widespread of direct plagiarism since one has to only copy and paste another person’s research into their work.  Self-plagiarism is the presentation one’s previous work for a second time ( Bryman & Bell, 2018). Plagiarism is considered the gravest offense in the academic arena. According to Beyman & Bell (2018), academic workplaces high value on originality. The researchers commit long hours of work to come up with academic documents and as such, it would be inconsiderate if another person presented the researchers’ work as theirs. Students should understand that plagiarism is not tolerated in the academic circles and if found the disciplinary measures are dire such as expulsion from a program or withdrawal of an academic certificate (Bryman & Bell, 2018). Plagiarism might also lead to the loss of one’s job. For example, earlier this month, a Pittsburgh University Professor lost his assistant professorship job for plagiarizing text and falsifying evidence. Some of the strategies to avoid plagiarism include to use quotations for large texts, paraphrase materials and give credit for using other people’s ideas through proper referencing.


Topic: Consequences of breaching psychological contracts on organizational commitment, job satisfaction and employee turnover

Article Summaries

Ahmed, E., D’Netto, B., Chelliah, J., & Fein, E. (2016). Psychological Contract Breach: Consequences of Unkept Promises of Permanent Employment. Contemporary Management Research, 12(2), 183–211.

Introduction Summary

The author’s primary objective was to evaluate the responses and perceptions of temporary employees, through the tenets of the psychological contract, to determine the effect of unfulfilled promises of employers about permanent employment (Ahmed, D’Netto, Chelliah, & Fein, 2016). The first hypothesis tested the relationship between temporary employees’ organizational commitment and organizational citizenship, while the second one postulated that PC breach is positively correlated with the employees’ intention to leave the organization. The third one stated that temporary employees’ PC breach is positively related to job performance neglect. A meta-analysis of several research studies postulates that companies employ temporary personnel to lower costs and streamline the process of managing human resources (Burgess & Connell, 2006; Chambel & Alcover, 2011; Chambel & Castanheira, 2012; De Cuyper et al., 2008; Guest, 2004a; Guest, 2004b; Kim & Lee, 2014). In the last thirty years, the business sector has witnessed an upsurge in the employment of temporary staff in North America, Asia, and Europe. Some workers voluntarily take temporary workplace positions, while some firms recruit personnel for permanent employment and eventually employ them temporarily. When employers change employment contracts from permanent to temporary contracts, employees experience a psychological contract breach.

Summary of Methodology

            The researchers utilize a quantitative research approach to assess the relationship between the independent and dependent variable. The Commercial bank in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was selected as the source of data. A sample population of 250 short-term workers of the banking institution was selected to answer a survey pack (Ahmed et al., 2016). The study participants were the bank’s temporary personnel who had been initially offered permanent contract and portrayed the readiness to remain permanent employees. Participants completed a Self-Report Survey (SRS) and Co-worker Rating Form (CRF). Co-workers filled the CRF and would comment on the participant’s office attitude and behavior (Ahmed et al., 2016). Only 140 participants out of the 250 survey respondents delivered complete survey answers. Data correlations and regression analysis method were used to study the dependent and independent variables. Intentions to resign, employee behaviors, organizational citizenship, and job neglect were the dependent variables, while the independent variable was the psychological contract breach by employers (Ahmed et al., 2016).

Conclusion / Discussion

            The study findings confirmed all three hypotheses. The findings indicate that there is a positive relationship between employees’ organizational commitment and corporate citizenship, a positive relationship between PC breach and employees’ intention to leave as well as neglect of job performance. The results of the research study emphasize that the constant extension of involuntary non-permanent employee engagement adversely impacted organizational citizenship augmented job neglect, and increased employee turnover intentions (Ahmed et al., 2016). Previous research studies illustrated that temporary workers provided better input in a company since they only created transactional psychological contracts. The outcomes of the empirical study state that personnel hired with an assurance of permanent employment developed long-term relational psychological contracts (Ahmed et al., 2016). Failing to fulfill the promise of permanent employment might decrease job performance, eventually affecting the quality of customer service. The researchers conclude that a psychological contract breach, due to the failure of employers to provide permanent employment, significantly impacts employee performance.

Schmidt, G. (2016). How Adult Attachment Styles Relate to Perceived Psychological Contract Breach and Affective Organizational Commitment. Employee Responsibilities & Rights Journal, 28(3), 147–170.

Introduction Summary

The objective of the study was to assess the association between adult attachment style and perceived breach, as well as affective organizational commitment in a sample population of university students. Psychological contract phenomenon was fashioned after scientists developed the interest to examine workers’ obligations of what an organization is indebted to them (Schmidt, 2016). Workers create a psychological contract, which makes them feel that managers have a reciprocal responsibility to meet promises about permanent employment they give during the signing of the employment contract (Rousseau, 1989). Meeting or not meeting the elements of a psychological contract is primarily subjective and necessitates the evaluation of a worker’s perceptions (Jepsen & Rodwell, 2012). The study hypotheses include “Secure attachment style will be negatively related to the perceived psychological contract breach,” and “Secure attachment style will be positively related to affective organizational commitment” (Schmidt, 2016).

Summary of Methodology

            The authors of the research article selected a population sample of 124 respondents who were studying at Northeastern University. Surveys assisted in the collection of study, and participants would answer the questionnaires in the survey before returning the transcripts to the researchers. The respondents’ average number of years was 20.9 years. It would take the respondents approximately ten minutes to answer the survey questionnaire at the end of a class. A Relationship Questionnaire formulated by Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991) measured the adult attachment style. Subsequently, a 16-item multiplicative system formulated by Turnley and Feldman (1999) helped in assessing perceived psychological contract breach. A quantitative research approach that involved hierarchical regression analyses helped the researchers to evaluate the association between the dependent and independent variables. The independent variable was the attachment style, whereas the dependent variable remained organizational commitment. On the contrary, the mediating variable was the psychological contract breach. The attachment style (independent variable) was correlated with organizational commitment (dependent variable) and also correlated with the psychological contract breach (mediating variable).


Conclusion / Discussion

            The adult attachment styles have a substantial influence on perceived psychological contract breach and affective organizational commitment. A dismissive attachment style appeared to be correlated to psychological contract breach. The results affirm that a worker’s behavior, attitudes, and perceptions are well understood through the assessment of adult attachment style (Schmidt, 2016). Thus, the difference in the behaviors of various employees can be understood through the evaluation of affective organizational commitment and psychological contract breach. Future researches should focus on how the management of an organization benefit from an evaluation of how adult attachment style, as a personality trait, impacts job performance (Schmidt, 2016). The research limitation is the incapacity to generalize the research outcomes because the respondents of the study were only university students.

Zhuang XIONG, Jianmu YE, & Pengju WANG. (2017). Psychological Contract and Turnover Intention of Dispatched Employees: Mediating Effects of Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment. Revista de Cercetare Si Interventie Social, 56, 19–43. Retrieved from

Introduction Summary

            The researchers examined the relationship between dispatched employees’ turnover intention and psychological contracts, with a reflection on organizational commitment and job or workplace satisfaction (Zhuang, Jianmu, & Pengju, 2017). Increasing labor costs in the market remain to be the reason why organizations apply flexible employment measures such as the consideration of labor dispatch. Labor dispatch is one of the practical interventions that firms can use to reduce operational costs. The phenomenon of labor dispatch arose in the 1950s and is currently popular in the U.S, China, Japan, and Europe, among other countries to address the problem of increasing labor costs. The total number of dispatched employees in China has extended to 60 million, which accounts for nearly 8% of the nation’s employed population (National Bureau of statistics of the People’s Republic of China, 2015). The research hypothesis is that the dispatched employee’s turnover intention is dependent on work satisfaction.

Summary of Methodology

            The approach utilized in the data collection is a survey questionnaire that was sent to the study respondents. The authors of the research article selected the banking industry, which has high quality dispatched employees, to source the study participants. The researchers handed out the survey questionnaire between February and June 2016 in China Construction Bank, China CITIC Bank, Commercial Bank of XinXiang, and Bank of China Limited. Researchers handed out 300 survey questionnaire; and received 271, which were useful in the research (Zhuang et al., 2017). The research used a quantitative approach, and a scale design was designed to collect statistical data in the survey questionnaire. The dependent variables were job satisfaction, normative commitment, and emotional commitment. The independent variable was the employees’ psychological contract with a third-party client or employer in interpersonal, normative, and development realms. The quantitative research approach allowed the application of the statistical method of regression analysis to assess the data collected.

Conclusion / Discussion

The results of the study revealed that a worker’s psychological contract that emerges due to interaction with a client employer indirectly affects the dispatched workers’ turnover intention by affecting job or workplace satisfaction and organizational commitment. A worker’s psychological contract with an employment agency does not affect employee attitude, behavior, and job performance (Zhuang et al., 2017). In conclusion, a dispatched employee does not develop a psychological contract with a dispatching agency, but they can develop a psychological contract with a client employer. The client employer, in this case, is the one who temporarily hires a dispatched employee through an agency. The recommendation for future studies is that researchers should focus on emphasizing the relationship between organizational culture, personality traits leadership style, and organizational support with psychological contracts (Zhuang, Jianmu, & Pengju, 2017). The limitation of the research is that the sample population was small, limiting the generalizability of the study outcomes prompting the need for future research to increase the number of study participants for reliability and validity purposes.

Clinton, M. E., & Guest, D. E. (2014). Psychological contract breach and voluntary turnover: Testing a multiple mediation model. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 87(1), 200–207.

Introduction Summary

            The objective of the researchers was to evaluate the relationship between voluntary employee turnover and psychological contract breach (Clinton & Guest, 2014). Previous studies reveal that when a psychological contract breach occurs, it affects the relationship between employees and employers (Conway & Briner, 2005; Rousseau, 1995). The deficiency of literature portraying the relationship between employee turnover behavior and psychological contract breach. The personnel at the British Royal Air Force (RAF) was one of the essential sources of data for the research to extend the knowledge in the existing research studies regarding the psychological breach and employee turnover (Clinton & Guest, 2014). The study hypothesis is that psychological contract breach has a significant correlation with voluntary employee turnover, and exchange fairness together with organizational trust has a direct impact on employee turnover.

Summary of Methodology 

            In this quantitative study, a total of 6,000 British Royal Air Force personnel provided data to evaluate the association between voluntary employee turnover and psychological contract breach. Surveys helped in the collection of research data. Statistical measures followed the assumption that voluntary employee turnover was a binary variable. Subsequently, psychological contract breach was measured through a 16-item method to evaluate the generic and firm-specific obligations of employers to employees (Clinton & Guest, 2014). Descriptive and Zero-Order correlations methods assisted the operationalization dependent and independent variables.

Conclusion / Discussion

            The study findings confirmed that a breach of psychological contract is positively correlated with turnover. Also, the study revealed that exchange fairness and organizational trust mediate the relationship between psychological contract breach and turnover. Organizational trust decreases with the occurrence of psychological contract breach because workers develop the perceptions that work input in a firm is not and will never be reciprocated enough (Clinton & Guest, 2014). Hence, the results of the study conclude that psychological contract breach deters a worker’s trust in an organization, which creates the perception that there is exchange unfairness. If workers lose faith, employers may find it challenging to retain them. The research limitation found is the existence of common method bias (Clinton & Guest, 2014). The future research recommendation is that more researchers evaluate the connection between psychological contract breach and voluntary employee turnover.


Ahmed, E., D’Netto, B., Chelliah, J., & Fein, E. (2016). Psychological Contract Breach: Consequences of Unkept Promises of Permanent Employment. Contemporary Management Research, 12(2), 183–211.

Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. (1991). Attachment styles among young adults: a test of a four-category
model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 226–244.

Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2018). Business research methods. Oxford university press.

Burgess, J., & Connell, J. (2006). Temporary work and human resources management:
issues, challenges and responses. Personnel Review, 35(2), 129-140.

Chambel, M. J., & Castanheira, F. (2012). Training of temporary workers and the
social exchange process. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 27(2), 191-209.

Chambel, M.J., & Alcover, C.M. (2011). The psychological contract of call-centre
workers: employment conditions, satisfaction and civic virtue behaviours.
Economic and Industrial Democracy, 32(1), 115-134.

Clinton, M. E., & Guest, D. E. (2014). Psychological contract breach and voluntary turnover: Testing a multiple mediation model. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 87(1), 200–207.

Conway, N., & Briner, R. (2005). Understanding psychological contracts at work: A critical
evaluation of theory and research. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

De Cuyper, N., De Jong, J., De Witte, H., Isaksson, K., Rigotti, T., & Schalk, R.
(2008). Literature review of theory and research on the psychological impact of
temporary employment: towards a conceptual model. International Journal of
Management Reviews, 10(1), 25-51.

Guest, D. (2004a). Flexible employment contracts, the psychological contract and
employee outcomes: an analysis and review of the evidence. International
Journal of Management Reviews, 5(1), 1-19.
Guest, D.E. (2004b). The psychology of the employment relationship: an analysis
based on the psychological contract. Applied Psychology, 53(4), 541-555.

Jepsen, D. M., & Rodwell, J. J. (2012). Lack of symmetry in employees’ perceptions of the psychological
contract. Psychological Reports, 110(3), 820–838.

Kim, H., & Lee, D. (2014). The relationship between the internal labour market and
transitions from temporary to permanent employment in Korea. Relations
Industrielles, 69(3), 597-620.

National bureau of statistics of the People’s Republic of China. (2016). China labor
statistics yearbook 2016. Peking: China statistics press, 9.

Rousseau, D. M. (1989). Psychological and implied contracts in organizations. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 2, 121–139.

Rousseau, D. M. (1995). Psychological contracts in organizations: Understanding written and
unwritten agreements. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Sandberg, J. and Alvesson, M. (2011). “Ways of Construction Research Questions: Gap-Spotting or Problematization?” Organization, 18:23-44.

Schmidt, G. (2016). How Adult Attachment Styles Relate to Perceived Psychological Contract Breach and Affective Organizational Commitment. Employee Responsibilities & Rights Journal, 28(3), 147–170.

Turnley, W. H., & Feldman, D. C. (1999). The impact of psychological contract violation on exit, voice, loyalty, and neglect. Human Relations, 52, 895–922.

Zhuang XIONG, Jianmu YE, & Pengju WANG. (2017). Psychological Contract and Turnover Intention of Dispatched Employees: Mediating Effects of Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment. Revista de Cercetare Si Interventie Sociala, 56, 19–43. Retrieved from

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