So far, we have assumed that once people feel a situation is inequitable, they will be motivated to react. However, does inequity disturb everyone equally? Researchers have identified a personality trait that explains different reactions to inequity and named this trait as equity sensitivity A personality trait that explains different reactions to inequity.
Huseman, R. A new perspective on equity theory: The equity sensitivity construct. Academy of Management Review , 12 , — Equity-sensitive individuals expect to maintain equitable relationships, and they experience distress when they feel they are over-rewarded or under-rewarded. At the same time, there are some individuals who are benevolents Individuals who give without waiting to receive much in return. Therefore, the theory is more useful in explaining the behavior of equity-sensitive individuals, and organizations will need to pay particular attention to how these individuals view their relationships.
Equity theory looks at perceived fairness as a motivator. However, the way equity theory defines fairness is limited to fairness of rewards. Starting in the s, research on workplace fairness began taking a broader view of justice. Equity theory deals with outcome fairness, and therefore it is considered to be a distributive justice theory. Distributive justice The degree to which the outcomes received from the organization are fair. Two other types of fairness have been identified: procedural justice and interactional justice. Clearly, this is an exciting outcome and comes with a pay raise, increased responsibilities, and prestige.
If you feel you deserve to be promoted, you would perceive high distributive justice your getting the promotion is fair. However, you later found out upper management picked your name out of a hat! What would you feel? You might still like the outcome but feel that the decision-making process was unfair. If so, you are describing feelings of procedural justice. Procedural justice The degree to which fair decision-making procedures are used to arrive at a decision.
People do not care only about reward fairness. They also expect decision-making processes to be fair. In fact, research shows that employees care about the procedural justice of many organizational decisions, including layoffs, employee selection, surveillance of employees, performance appraisals, and pay decisions. Alge, B. Effects of computer surveillance on perceptions of privacy and procedural justice. Journal of Applied Psychology , 86 , —; Bauer, T. Longitudinal assessment of applicant reactions to employment testing and test outcome feedback.
Journal of Applied Psychology , 83 , —; Kidwell, R. Pink slips without tears. Academy of Management Executive , 9 , 69— People also tend to care more about procedural justice in situations in which they do not get the outcome they feel they deserve.
Brockner, J. An integrative framework for explaining reactions to decisions: Interactive effects of outcomes and procedures. If you did not get the promotion and later discovered that management chose the candidate by picking names out of a hat, how would you feel? This may be viewed as adding insult to injury. When people do not get the rewards they want, they tend to hold management responsible if procedures are not fair.
Journal of Applied Psychology , 92 , — Why do employees care about procedural justice? There are three potential reasons. Cropanzano, R. The management of organizational justice.
Theories of Motivation
Academy of Management Perspectives , 21 , 34—48; Tyler, T. Psychological models of the justice motive: Antecedents of distributive and procedural justice. Understanding why the justice of group procedures matters: A test of the psychological dynamics of the group-value model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 70 , — First, people tend to believe that fairness is an end in itself and it is the right thing to do.
Second, fair processes guarantee future rewards. If your name was picked out of a hat, you have no control over the process, and there is no guarantee that you will get future promotions. If the procedures are fair, you are more likely to believe that things will work out in the future. Third, fairness communicates that the organization values its employees and cares about their well-being. Research has identified many ways of achieving procedural justice.
For example, giving employees advance notice before laying them off, firing them, or disciplining them is perceived as fair.
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Kidwell, R. Advance notice helps employees get ready for the changes facing them or gives them an opportunity to change their behavior before it is too late. Allowing employees voice in decision making is also important. Journal of Applied Psychology , 86 , —; Kernan, M. Survivor reactions to reorganization: Antecedents and consequences of procedural, interpersonal, and informational justice. Journal of Applied Psychology , 87 , —; Lind, E. Voice, control, and procedural justice: Instrumental and noninstrumental concerns in fairness judgments.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 59 , — When designing a performance-appraisal system or implementing a reorganization, it may be a good idea to ask people for their input because it increases perceptions of fairness. Even when it is not possible to have employees participate, providing explanations to employees is helpful in fostering procedural justice. Schaubroeck, J. Procedural justice explanations and employee reactions to economic hardship: A field experiment. Journal of Applied Psychology , 79 , — Finally, people expect consistency in treatment.
Bauer, T. Journal of Applied Psychology , 83 , — If one person is given extra time when taking a test while another is not, individuals would perceive decision making as unfair.
The job is so simple that we thought even you can handle it. The feeling of unfairness you may now feel is explained by interactional justice. Interactional justice The degree to which people are treated with respect, kindness, and dignity in interpersonal interactions. We expect to be treated with dignity by our peers, supervisors, and customers. When the opposite happens, we feel angry. Even when faced with negative outcomes such as a pay cut, being treated with dignity and respect serves as a buffer and alleviates our stress. Losing sleep over organizational injustice: Attenuating insomniac reactions to underpayment inequity with supervisory training in interactional justice.
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Journal of Applied Psychology , 91 , 58— Sources: Adapted from ideas in Colquitt, J. Does the justice of the one interact with the justice of the many? Reactions to procedural justice in teams. Journal of Applied Psychology , 89 , —; Cropanzano, R. Academy of Management Perspectives , 21 , 34— Employers would benefit from paying attention to all three types of justice perceptions.
In addition to being the right thing to do, paying attention to justice perceptions leads to outcomes companies care about. Managing workplace stress by promoting organizational justice. Organizational Dynamics , 33 , —; Tepper, B. Health consequences of organizational injustice: Tests of main and interactive effects. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes , 86 , — Conversely, low levels of justice lead to retaliation and support of unionization. Blader, S. What leads organizational members to collectivize?
Injustice and identification as precursors of union certification. Organization Science , 18 , —; Cohen-Charash, Y. The role of justice in organizations: A meta-analysis.
Justice at the millennium: A meta-analytic review of 25 years of organizational justice research. Journal of Applied Psychology , 86 , —; Cropanzano, R.
outer-edge-design.com/components/doesnt/276-spy-application.php Academy of Management Perspectives , 21 , 34—48; Masterson, S.