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date: 10 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Drawing upon social exchange theory and the norm of reciprocity, we review the employee–organization relationship (EOR). A number of EOR frameworks share common theoretical ground yet have developed independently: psychological contracts, perceived organizational support, employment relationship, social and economic exchange, and idiosyncratic deals. We examine the empirical evidence linking each of the frameworks to employees’ organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Relationships based on minimal investment (quasi-spot contracts and transactional psychological contracts) and psychological contract breach are negatively related to OCB. Economic exchange is unrelated to OCB. Relationships that demonstrate investment, support, fulfillment of obligations, and granting of idiosyncratic deals are positively related to OCB because they signal a trusting and benefit conferring relationship. We outline challenges and future research directions that address the “value addedness” of the EOR frameworks.

Keywords: employee–organization relationship, psychological contracts, perceived organizational support, idiosyncratic deals, social and economic exchange, inducement-contribution model, social exchange theory, reciprocity, organizational citizenship behavior

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