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The role of procedural fairness in power dynamics

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Title The role of procedural fairness in power dynamics
Period 09 / 2007 - 09 / 2011
Status Current
Dissertation Yes
Research number OND1328067
Data Supplier Kurt Lewin Instituut

Abstract

This project aims to enhance our understanding of procedural justice and power processes by studying their interrelations. People in power generally behave more according to their dispositional characteristics than people in a low power position. We argue that in a clear procedural justice climate power holders behave less in accordance with their dispositions because a clear procedural fairness climate enhances power holder s accountability. Moreover, we argue that in a clear procedural justice climate, the stability of power relations is particularly effective in affecting power holders as well as subordinates: Unstable power differences make power holders show fair behavior, out of self-presentation concerns, which should thus further attenuate dispositional effects on power holder's behavior. Subordinates on the other hand, view fairly acting power holders as insincere when power differences are unstable, and thus as abusing their power, resulting in reactions that are just as negative as reactions towards unfairly power holders. In four laboratory experiments, we test our basic predictions. We replicate these predictions and focus on organizationally relevant behaviors, such as employee health, organization citizenship behavior, and antisocial behavior, in two longitudinal field studies.

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Classification

D51000 Psychology

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