The Psychological Contract as an Integrative Governance Instrument of the Legal Outsourcing Contract

Franca Cantoni, Alessandro Zardini, Cecilia Rossignoli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Outsourcing is a managerial procedure whose success needs clarification regarding the long-term relationship between customer and supplier. The authors’ aim is to examine simultaneously the client’s and supplier’s perspectives through the psychological contract that, by assimilating the contents of the legal contract, focuses on (1) the implicit (not formalized) and reciprocal (mutual) duties between the two parties, (2) the equivalence of psychological obligations and contractual values and (3) the importance of the individual commitment level. While the legal contract is managed and based on an organizational level, the psychological contract is individual and perceived as such: from the authors’ point of view, all workers, regardless of whether they work inside or outside the company, are part of the psychological contract. The authors employ a case study represented by an outsourcing centre belonging to a group of Italian banks, using the “qualitative and quantitative” mixed method. In the first phase, a series of interviews will help identify the key variables to develop a questionnaire for both customers and suppliers. The second phase will comprise the interviews and questionnaire formalization. The two themes, the psychological contract on the one hand and the outsourcing governance on the other hand, represent a highly relevant matter that has received scant attention in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Systems, Management, Organization and Control
EditorsD. Baglieri, C. Metallo, C. Rossignoli, M Pezzillo Iacono
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • governance instrument
  • outsourcing
  • psychological contract


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