The psychological contract of migrants: an analysis of differences between Ukrainian economic migrants and refugees in Polish companies

Jolanta Maj, Maciej Filipowicz, Sabina Kubiciel-Lodzińska


Migrant workers, mainly from Ukraine, are increasingly present in Poland. However, this is not a homogeneous group. We can distinguish between pre-war immigrants, whose arrival in Poland was voluntary, and Ukrainian refugees, who were forced to migrate by the war. The aim of this article is to determine whether pre-war immigrants and refugees differ in terms of the unwritten expectations they have of employers, i.e. whether these groups are characterised by a different psychological contract. It complements knowledge in the fields of human resource management, organisational behaviour and diversity management by pointing out the need to identify refugee status or experience as a new dimension of diversity, with a significant impact on employees' expectations of the organisation and thus on the effectiveness of the applied HR management instruments. The article discusses the results of a quantitative survey conducted in May 2023 among Ukrainian pre-war immigrants (N = 182) and refugees (N = 147). It was found that there is a statistically significant difference between the relational psychological contract declared by pre-war immigrants and refugees. This means that the two groups, despite coming from the same country, require a slightly different approach in the context of human resource management, as they have different expectations from the employer.

Keywords: psychological contract, migrants, refugees, relational contract, transactional contract, human resource management


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Jolanta Maj

Maciej Filipowicz

Sabina Kubiciel-Lodzińska

About the article


The article is in the printed version on pages 15-27.

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How to cite

Maj, J., Filipowicz, M. i Kubiciel-Lodzińska, S. (2023). Kontrakt psychologiczny: analiza różnic między ukraińskimi imigrantami ekonomicznymi a uchodźcami w polskich przedsiębiorstwach. e-mentor, 5(102), 15-27.