THE COLLECTIVISTS AN INDIVIDUALISTS PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACTS
Adamska, K., University of Gdansk, Poland
Psychological contract as a phenomenon and a term taken from therapy and widely used in organisational psychology could be better understood if one would take into account consistent tendency a person reveals in his action and thoughts. The meaning of psychological contract, that is the content of mutual obligations between two or more sides in specific situation, have to be based on internal, unconscious "image" of relationship, and accepted (by the subject) tranformation of this image. Collectivists carry an image of strong relation within groups and loosely bounds with outsiders. For individualists it is expected to be driven more by needs and internal beliefs. This division is related to outer (norms) and inner (one's own belief and standards of proper behaviour) source of the evaluation of own's own decisions and acts and seems to explain the difference between individualists and collectivists But these interpretation can be unsatisfactory if we ask a person to imagine an encounter of two persons, one of which is asking the other a favour. What is the collectivist's (in comparison with noncollectivists) and individualist's (in comparison with nonindividualists) obligation to fullfil the other's request? Is it possible that the outsider transfoms into the member of one's own group - in the collectivists mind - by the very act of asking a favour and is treated as such with a readiness to be helpful. Does individualist not triggered by other's asking behaviour turned out to be "egoist"? The results of the research conducted by the author on the subject confirm both of these attitudes. 120 persons were asked to answer whether they were ready to help in eight different (scenarios) situations. The collectivists and individualists orientations as well as membership of the other person (ingroup, or outgroup) were controlled. Collectivists are altruistic (in case of conflict between own's own and other's interest ) and ready to help outsiders. Individualists are inclined to help members of their own group (not outgroups), maybe because the psychological contract with them had been settled, and one could expect prize for helpful behaviour. Collectivist's psychological contract with stronger obligations is triggered by the others dependency behaviours. "I depend on you" attitude makes active the collectivist's psychological contract.