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Fairness heuristics and substitutability effects: inferring the fairness of outcomes, procedures, and interpersonal treatment when employees lack clear information

Qin, Xin, Ren, Run, Zhang, Zhi-Xue and Johnson, Russell E. 2015, Fairness heuristics and substitutability effects: inferring the fairness of outcomes, procedures, and interpersonal treatment when employees lack clear information, Journal of applied psychology, vol. 100, no. 3, pp. 749-766, doi: 10.1037/a0038084.

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Title Fairness heuristics and substitutability effects: inferring the fairness of outcomes, procedures, and interpersonal treatment when employees lack clear information
Author(s) Qin, Xin
Ren, Run
Zhang, Zhi-Xue
Johnson, Russell E.
Journal name Journal of applied psychology
Volume number 100
Issue number 3
Start page 749
End page 766
Total pages 18
Publisher American Psychological Association
Place of publication Washington, D.C.
Publication date 2015-05
ISSN 0021-9010
1939-1854
Keyword(s) organizational justice
justice clarity
judgement formation
fairness heuristic theory
need for cognitive closure
Summary Employees routinely make judgments of 3 kinds of justice (i.e., distributive, procedural, and interactional), yet they may lack clear information to do so. This research examines how justice judgments are formed when clear information about certain types of justice is unavailable or ambiguous. Drawing from fairness heuristic theory, as well as more general theories of cognitive heuristics, we predict that when information for 1 type of justice is unclear (i.e., low in justice clarity), people infer its fairness based on other types of justice with clear information (i.e., high in justice clarity). Results across 3 studies employing different designs (correlational vs. experimental), samples (employees vs. students), and measures (proxy vs. direct) provided support for the proposed substitutability effects, especially when inferences were based on clear interactional justice information. Moreover, we found that substitutability effects were more likely to occur when employees had high (vs. low) need for cognitive closure. We conclude by discussing the theoretical contributions and practical implications of our findings.
Language eng
DOI 10.1037/a0038084
Field of Research 150310 Organisation and Management Theory
1701 Psychology
1503 Business And Management
1505 Marketing
Socio Economic Objective 910402 Management
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, American Psychological Association
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30090794

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Department of Management
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