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

Last month, I-O Psychologists met in California to share the latest cutting-edge research. The 31st annual conference of the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology (SIOP) was a huge success. 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.


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? […]

Fairness During Recruitment Can Affect Job Offer Acceptance

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.


How Mindfulness Can Cool Employees with a Hot Temper

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.


Leader Decision Making

Leader Decision Making: Balancing Company Needs Versus Employee Needs

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.


Job Security Affect Job Performance

When Does Job Security Affect Job Performance?

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.


Organizational Justice.fb

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.


Being Fair

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

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.


Lack of Supervisor Justice Leads to Team Cohesiveness

Lack of Supervisor Justice Leads to Team Cohesiveness

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.



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.


With OCBs and Justice For All (IO Psychology)

Topic: Organizational Justice, Teams, Citizenship Behavior, Performance Appraisal
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (NOV 2012)
Article: Examining Retaliatory Responses to Justice Violations and Recovery
Attempts in Teams
Authors: J.S. Christian, M.S. Christian, A.S. Garza, A.P.J. Ellis
Reviewed By: Ben Sher

Should managers deal fairly with their employees? Well yes, of course, if they are concerned about being nice people or perhaps want to be told the correct location of the
holiday party. But what if managers are only concerned with bottom-line organizational effectiveness, profit, and ruthless getting-ahead in life? For these types, research by
Christian, et al. (2012) has shown that treating employees unfairly can lead to certain negative workplace outcomes.


Why Should Managers Care about Being Fair? (Human Resource Management)

Topic: Fairness, Organizational Justice, Organizational Performance
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Fairness at the collective level: A meta-analytic examination of the
consequences and boundary conditions of organizational justice climate.
Authors: Whitman, D. S., Caleo, S., Carpenter, N. C., Horner, M. T., and Bernerth, J.
Reviewer: Neil Morelli

Organizational justice, or how fairly an organization treats its workers, is a big deal to employees. To an individual employee, organizational justice helps determine his or her attitude about the job and as well as his or her productivity. But this perception doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Because this perception is often shared with co-workers and team members, called justice climate, Whitman and his co-authors conducted a meta-analysis to summarize and clarify how organizational justice climate exists at the team (unit) level and can influence team effectiveness.


When It Comes to Employee Health, More than an ‘Apple a Day’ is Needed (IO Psychology)

 Topic: Health & Safety, Organizational Justice, Fairness, Burnout, Stress
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (2012)
Article: Perceived Unfairness and Employee Health: A Meta-Analytic Integration
Authors: Robbins, Jordan M.; Ford, Michael T.; Tetrick, Lois E.
Reviewed By: Lauren A. Wood, M.S.

Practitioners and employers alike have expressed concern around the effects of poor employee heath. When employees are not well, the organization can not only incurs costs due to direct medical expenses, but can also pay for poor employee health in the form of absenteeism, decreased productivity and moral, and even turnover.


Are cognitive ability tests insulting your applicants? (IO Psychology)

Topic: Organizational Justice, Fairness, Interviewing, Assessment, Selection
Publication: Personnel Psychology (WINTER 2011)
Article: Status and organizational entry: How organizational and individual status affect justice perceptions of hiring systems
Authors: Sumanth, J. J., & Cable, D. M.
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

It is well known in the field of IO psychology that cognitive ability tests are very predictive of employee performance.  However, applicants often see them as unfair and do not like taking them; more informal and much less valid methods (like informal interviews) tend to be preferred by applicants. In this study, Sumanth and Cable (2011) investigated the effect that the status of the organization and the career status of the applicant would have on applicants’ perceptions of the selection system’s fairness.


How Employees Really Feel about Workplace Romances

Topic: Organizational Justice, Sexual Harassment
Publication: Journal of Business and Psychology (DEC 2009)
Article: Workplace romance: A justice perspective
Authors: N. Cole
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Workplace Romances(WRs) are a fact of life. Some statistics suggest that as many as 40% of employees report having had a WR at some point in their careers. Though organizations are often concerned about the potential performance and legal ramifications of in-house WRs, general attitudes toward WRs appear to be changing; employees are much less secretive about WRs than they have been in the past.


Explanations Can Leave a Sweet Taste in Job Applicants’ Mouths

Topic: Organizational Justice, Selection
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment (DEC 2009)
ArticleEffects of explanations on applicant reactions: A meta-analytic review
Authors: D.M. Truxillo, T.E. Bodner, M. Bertolino, T.N. Bauer, and C.A. Yonce
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Oftentimes, job applicants run a gauntlet of various selection tests, assessments, and interviews and it is important to understand how they affect applicants’ reactions toward the organization. Providing job applicants with explanations for the various selection procedures is a cost-effective and easily implemented intervention. Additionally, according to Truxillo and colleagues’ meta-analysis, explanations can positively impact applicants’ reactions toward the employment process and organization as a whole.


Who is holding the glass ceiling in place?

Topic: CompensationOrganizational Justice, Motivation, Rewards
Publication: Journal of Human ResourcesArticle: Who is holding the glass
ceiling in place?
Author: N. Fortin
Featured by: Benjamin Granger

Many 21st century women still earn less than their male counterparts.  However, this injustice may not be due fully to chauvinists and stereotypes. In her article, The Gender Wage Gap among Young Adults in the United States: The Importance of Money versus People , Nicole Fortin investigates influences that women themselves exhibit which may contribute to their smaller paychecks.  As women more often choose to volunteer with organizations that are altruistic in nature, and tend to place more importance on workplace success rather than rolling in the dough, it is easy to follow Fortin’s argument that such noncognitive factors inevitably influence the gender wage gap.


Identifying the Roots of Sexual Harassment

Topic: Organizational Justice,Sexual HarassmentWorkplace Deviance
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Organization justice and men’s likelihood to sexually harass: The moderating role of sexism and personality.
Author: F. Krings, S. Facchin
Featured by: Benjamin Granger

Researchers Krings and Facchin (2009) set out to uncover the reasons why men engage in sexual harassment at work. The authors hypothesized that certain personality traits make some men more likely to engage in sexual harassment, but that sexual harassment might also depend on certain organizational factors.


Fair is Fair

Topic: Organizational Justice
Publication: Journal of Management
Article: Perceptions of discrimination: A multiple needs model perspective.
Blogger: James Grand

I know the saying goes “Life isn’t always fair – sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield.”

But in truth, things aren’t usually that black and white (or life and death, if you will). One theory of organizational justice (fairness) that has begun to grow in prominence within the research literature in recent years is that of Cropanzano et al.’s (2001) multiple needs model of justice.


Honk if you Perceive Injustice!

Topic: Organizational Justice
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Third party support for strike action.
Blogger: Rob Stilson

Strikes have been assessed from the point of view of the two parties involved, but rarely if ever has a third-party perspective been considered.  In this article which contains two studies, Kelloway, Francis, Catano, and Dupré (2008) did just that. The first study concerns a teacher’s union ready to strike and the second study involves an actual strike among public employees.


C’mon, you can trust me!

Topic: Organizational Justice, Job Performance, Trust
: Journal of Management
Article: The Relationship between being perceived as trustworthy and performance
Blogger: Larry Martinez

OK, so most of the research done on trustworthiness in the workplace has focused on whether or not you think that your coworkers and leaders are trustworthy and the related implications (if you don’t trust your boss you’ll be less likely to perform well for him or her).  But what about the other side of the coin?

Dirks and Skarlicki wanted to know how being perceived as trustworthy effects job performance – the idea being that if your coworkers think you are trustworthy, they’ll be more likely to offer you resources.


Fostering Fairness in the Workplace: Why it’s so worth it!

Topic: Citizenship Behavior, Organizational Justice
Publication: Journal of Organizational Behavior
Article: Meta-analytic tests of relationships between organizational justice and citizenship behavior: Testing agent-system and shared-variance models.
Blogger: Benjamin Granger

Leaders are recognizing that organizations, employees, and customers benefit from non-required cooperative behaviors that go on in the workplace.  These behaviors are referred to as organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs).  Because OCBs are highly valued in organizational settings, business researchers and practitioners are interested in uncovering the causes of these behaviors.


Fairness Is In The Eye of The Beholder

Topic: Organizational Justice Publication: The Journal of Applied Psychology (2008)
Article: Event justice perceptions and employees’ reactions: Perceptions of social entity
justice as a moderator.
Author: J. Choi
Reviewed by: Katie O’Brien

In a land of milk and honey, the copier would never break, we’d never have to work weekends, and work would always be fair.

Well, since we aren’t eating ambrosia, we as employees sometimes have to deal with mightily unfair events at work and sometimes we even have to deliver this unfairness.  New research in the Journal of Applied Psychology by Jaepil Choi has looked into possible moderators that could soften the blow.  He found that, indeed, if your employees feel that they work at a “fair” organization, one or two fairness-related slip-ups won’t make that much of a difference.