A Snapshot of SIOP 2016 (Pt. 3) – Fairness

Last month, I-O Psychologists convened in sunny California to share the latest cutting-edge research and plot to take over the world.  In both regards, the 31st annual conference of the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology (SIOP) was a huge success.  

But don’t worry if you didn’t make it, IOatWork is bringing SIOP to you!  We’ve partnered with numerous SIOP presenters, and they’ve provided us with the nitty-gritty on some of the very best presentations, which we now offer to you in a multi-part series.  

So buckle up!  

For the first time ever, SIOP is coming straight into your home or workplace—kind of like a peer-reviewed Kool-Aid Man.  

We hope you enjoy!

A Snapshot of SIOP 2016 Part 3: Fairness from I/O at Work

Delivering Bad News at Work: Is There a Good Way?

Delivering bad news at work may be one of the hardest things to do. Even the most positive, motivational, supportive leader must sometimes deliver news that is soul-crushing. Whether it’s announcing layoffs or a less-than-stellar progress report, delivery of bad news may cause enormous anxiety for the deliverer, and devastation for the receiver. To ease the difficulty of these common situations, researchers (Richter, König, Koppermann, & Schilling, 2016) have developed something called “bad news training.” A combination of lessons from I-O Psychology as well as the health-care industry, how did this new training fair when put to the test? (more…)

Fairness During Recruitment Can Affect Job Offer Acceptance


Publication: Personnel Psychology 2016
Article: Investigating the Effects of Applicant Justice Perceptions on Job Offer Acceptance
Reviewed by: Ashlyn Patterson

Ensuring your organization has the right people in the right roles is important, and this outcome is largely affected by the recruitment process. Recruiters spend a long time sifting through job applicants before they decide whom they want to hire. Unfortunately, applicants don’t always accept their offers. What factors make a job applicant more likely to accept (or reject) a job offer? To find out, new research (Harold, Holtz, Griepentrog, Brewer, & Marsh, 2016) studied roughly 3,000 job applicants who had all been given offers to join the US Military.

(more…)

How Mindfulness Can Cool Employees with a Hot Temper


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (2015)
Article: Mindfulness Buffers Retaliatory Responses to Injustice: A Regulatory Approach
Reviewed by: Andrew Morris

Mindfulness is a psychological state that occurs when a person is completely in-the-moment and experiences a heightened sense of focus and awareness. When people find themselves in this state, they are less likely to take things personally or react automatically without thinking. Organizations are becoming interested in mindfulness because it has been shown to help boost self-control (e.g. people might be less reactionary towards that trying co-worker) and because it leads to increased performance. In light of this, the authors of this study (Long & Christian, 2015) explored whether mindfulness helps employees thwart the desire to “get back” at others when they felt wronged. This is important because employee retaliation can be costly to an organization and detrimental to smooth functioning.

(more…)

Leader Decision Making: Balancing Company Needs Versus Employee Needs


Publication: Academy of Management Journal
Article: Paradoxical Leader Behaviors in People Management: Antecedents and Consequences
Reviewed by: Will Smith

Leader decision making is an important topic that affects all organizational leaders. Leaders are often faced with unique challenges that test their abilities to manage diverse teams and situations. They are forced to make hard choices involving satisfying the needs of the organization and those of the employees, which can sometimes cause conflict.

For example, supervisors want to treat all their employees equally, but also find ways to identify the employees’ individual strengths as well as optimize them for the organization without showing favoritism. Or perhaps leaders want to increase morale by having an interpersonal relationship with their staff, but worry that getting close will make employees lose respect for them or their position. Supervisors may always want to allow staff to be autonomous in the work they do, but also need to ensure they maintain a level of productivity in order to meet and exceed organizational standards.

(more…)

When Does Job Security Affect Job Performance?


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (2015)
Article: Job Insecurity and Job Performance: The Moderating Role of Organizational Justice and the Mediating Role of Work Engagement
Reviewed by: Andrew Morris

Job security has rapidly decreased as a result of the global economic downturn and financial crisis. In a recent survey, employees ranked job security as the greatest contributing factor to job satisfaction. However, because job insecurity is unavoidable in the current situation, organizations need to understand the conditions under which employees can remain engaged at work and how negative responses to job insecurity can be reduced.

(more…)

Organizational Justice: Do Employees Give the Benefit of the Doubt?

When employees perceive organizational justice, or that their company is being fair to them, positive outcomes are likely to occur. Yet little research has examined how employees form opinions about whether or not their company is just. In some situations, it’s quite straightforward. Let’s say that an employee was denied a raise, but the manager also clearly explained the plentiful reasons for why it could not happen. The employee therefore has the requisite background information needed to determine if the manager and organization were being fair.

(more…)

The Dark Side of Procedural Justice: When Being Fair Isn’t Enough


Publication: Journal of Organizational Behavior
Article: Episodic envy and counterproductive work behaviors: Is more justice always good?
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

A common belief in the workplace is that if managers make decisions in a fair way (procedural justice), then employees will be happier and organizational outcomes will be positive. Both the research literature and common sense indicate that managers should be fair, but a recent study by Khan, Quratulain, and Bell (2014) suggests that being fair may not be enough. It appears that fairness doesn’t always lead to good behavior by employees.

(more…)

Lack of Supervisor Justice Leads to Team Cohesiveness


Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Misery Loves Company: Team Dissonance and the Influence of
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Supervisor justice sounds like a good thing, and it is. This term refers to leaders who treat their employees fairly, and when speaking specifically about interpersonal justice, it means that they treat their employees with dignity and respect. Past research has highlighted the positive outcomes that occur when supervisor justice is at a high level, for example, employees will be more committed to the organization. However, a new study (Stoverink, Umphress, Gardner, & Miner, 2014) found the opposite. When supervisor justice is perceived to be lacking, there could be a positive benefit for employees who work on teams.

(more…)

How Leadership Styles and Fairness Can Help Increase Job Performance

Stress is an inevitable part of working life within any organization. Every employee encounters different types of stressful situations, which ultimately shape our attitudes towards, and perceptions of, the organization we work for. The authors of “It’s Not Fair….Or Is It? The Role Of Justice And Leadership In Explaining Work Stressor-Job Performance Relationships” proposed that people encounter two types of stress in the workplace, which includes challenge stressors and hindrance stressors.

(more…)