Scholarly Communications Project

Beyond the Psychological Contract: Ideology and the Economic Social Contract


George W. Watson

PhD Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy




Jon M. Shepard, Chair
John Christman
R.J. Harvey
Carroll U. Stephens
Richard Wokutch
Anthony T. Cobb

24 May 1997
Blacksburg, Virginia


By combining normative philosophy and empirical social science, I craft a research framework for assessing differential expectations of economic justice within the economic social contract of the United States. I argue that distinct viewsof such a contract grounded in the tradition of individualism and communitarianism manifest in people's judgments about economic justice. We empirically test these hypotheses on a sample of 270 subjects, finding broad support for the theoretical framework.

List of attached files

File NameSize (Bytes)
App-b-&&.pdf176,060 Bytes
App-d.pdf51,543 Bytes
Dissert&.pdf572,166 Bytes
Vita(wp&.pdf27,205 Bytes

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