Title: Psychological contracts and self-directed learning

Authors: William L. Tullar, Michael A. Beitler

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, Bryan School of Business and Economics, 364 Bryan Building, P.O. Box 26165, Grensboro, NC 27402–6165, USA. ' Department of Business Administration, Bryan School of Business and Economics, 372 Bryan Building, P.O. Box 26165, Greensboro, NC 27402–6165, USA

Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between psychological contracts and Self-Directed Learning (SDL). There is an extensive literature that provides ample evidence that human resource departments should care about the psychological contracts that their employees form with the organisation. This study focuses on how the psychological contract affects the employee|s perception of his/her need to engage in SDL. SDL is important for the creation and dissemination of new knowledge, since formal training programmes can never be expected to keep up with the rate of increase in the available knowledge. The study provides evidence that employees with transactional psychological contracts tend to be negatively disposed towards SDL. Conversely, employees with more relational psychological contracts tend to be positively disposed towards SDL.

Keywords: self-directed learning; SDL readiness; psychological contracts; knowledge creation; human resource development; HRD.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2008.019543

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2008 Vol.8 No.4, pp.318 - 331

Available online: 16 Jul 2008 *

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