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Abstract

Psychological contracts are individual beliefs in reciprocal obligations between employees and employers. In a sample of 224 graduating MBA students who had recently accepted job offers, beliefs regarding employment obligations were investigated. Two types of obligation were demonstrated empirically: transactional obligations of high pay and career advancement in exchange for hard work and relational obligations exchanging job security for loyalty and a minimum length of stay. These types of obligations are connected with two forms of legal contracts: transactional and relational. Relational contract obligations for employers correlated with employee expected length of stay with the firm. Transactional contract obligations were associated with careerist motive on the part of new recruits. The relationship between these and other motives of new hires was also investigated.