My research mainly focuses on employees’ psychological contracts. This psychological contract describes a person’s perceptions with regard to the mutual obligations between employee and employer. These perceived obligations shape employee relationships and influence employees’ behaviours, because employees monitor the extent to which mutual obligations are fulfilled. When promised obligations are breached, employees typically become dissatisfied, reduce their effort, and may even decide to leave the organisation altogether.

Within this psychological contract research, I particularly focus on the role of time (temporal perspective) and emotions. Considering time is crucial as psychological contracts are dynamic, they change over time and employee reactions may intensify or weaken over time. Including emotions is important because perceptions of psychological contract breach immediately elicit emotions, which in turn shape behavioural responses.

Other research interests, besides psychological contracts,  include personality of supervisors and employees, cross-cultural differences, trust in the organisation, and volunteerism.


  • Psychological contracts
  • Role of time
  • Emotions at work
  • Personality
  • Volunteering

PhD students

Safâa Achnak

Safâa Achnak

PhD student


Du Jiahong

PhD student

Yang Yang

PhD student

Research projects

  • Unfolding stress reactions to psychological contract breach

    A temporal perspective on stress reactions to employees' perceptions of psychological contract breach.

    This project forms the focus of Safâa Achnak’s PhD, and involves employees’ stress reactions to perceptions of psychological contract breach. Surprisingly, few studies have considered stress when looking at outcomes of breach. Nonetheless, employees will likely experience stress when a promise is not kept by the organisation, because it becomes uncertain if other promises will be provided or not.

    In this project, we consider stress from a temporal perspective. This means that we examine how stress reactions unfold over time when breach is perceived and how this stress trajectory leads to feelings of burnout and absenteeism.

  • On the relational desequilibrium between paid and voluntary employees in non-profit organization and social enterprises.

    A psychological contract perspective on exchange agreements of paid employees and volunteers, working in non-profit organisations

    In this project, Yannick Griep examines the psychological contract of paid employees and volunteers working in non-profit organisations. In particular, he explores (dis)similarities in reactions to psychological contract breach, in terms of organisational citizenship behaviour and counter-productive work behaviour, between paid employees and volunteers. Moreover, Yannick studies reactions to psychological contract breach from a temporal perspective; he, for example, tested the existence of reciprocal relationships between perceptions of breach and performance.

    Yannick Griep is supervised by Prof. Roland Pepermans and Prof. Tim Vantilborgh.