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ABSTRACT. The article examines work–family conflict (WFC) among employees in Germany, with a specific focus on the psychological contract as a component of employment relationships. We investigate different dimensions of psychological contract breach (PCB), in addition to resources and demands at the workplace, as predictors of WFC. Based on a linked employer–employee study (LEEP-B3) of 100 large organizations in Germany, with a sample consisting of 4,767 employees, cross-sectional multilevel random effects regression models were estimated to allow a better understanding of how psychological contracts add to the explanation of WFC in relation to job resources and demands. Our study showed that employees’ perceived overall imbalance in mutual obligations of employers and employees, as well as PCB of more specific expectations, did indeed prove to be relevant in predicting a higher degree of WFC. PCB is most predictive for WFC when those expectations concerning specific obligations are breached that are more closely and concretely connected to reconciling responsibilities from work and personal life such as availability and flexibility. The findings suggest that psychological contracts play a significant role in the emergence of WFC additionally to job demands and resources.
JEL codes: J41; O15; E24

Keywords: employment relationship; employer-employee relations; work–family conflict; psychological contract breach; job demands and resources; job stress

How to cite: Reimann, Mareike, Stephanie Pausch, and Martin Diewald (2017). “Work–Family Conflict in Germany: Psychological Contracts as Part of Employment Relationships in Work–Family Research,” Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management 5(2): 127–153.

Received 23 May 2017 • Received in revised form 6 July 2017
Accepted 7 July 2017 • Available online 25 July 2017

doi:10.22381/PIHRM5220175

MAREIKE REIMANN
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Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University
STEPHANIE PAUSCH
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Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University
MARTIN DIEWALD
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Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University

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