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The Social Construction of Injustice: Fairness Judgments in Response to Own and Others' Unfair Treatment by Authorities

Authors
Journal
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
0749-5978
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
75
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1006/obhd.1998.2785

Abstract

Abstract The research literature in organizational justice has examined in some detail the dynamics and consequences of justice judgments based on direct experiences with fair and unfair authorities, but little is known about how people form justice judgments on the basis of reports of injustice by others or how group discussion changes justice judgments. The present study examined the consequences of distributed injustice, in which all members of a group experience some denial of voice, and concentrated injustice, in which one member experiences repeated denial of voice and others do not. It was predicted and found that mild personal experiences of injustice are a more potent source of group impressions of injustice than are reports of more severe injustice experienced by others. In both conditions, group ratings of unfairness were more extreme than were the mean of individual ratings either before or after discussion.

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