van Dijke, Marius, Niels Van Quaquebeke and Joel Brockner

In self-defense: Reappraisal buffers the negative impact of low procedural fairness on performance

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, (2020).

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Abstract: Contrary to an often-found result in the organizational justice literature, we suggest that there may be circumstances under which organization members will not perform poorly in response to being on the receiving end of low procedural fairness. To explain the theoretical mechanism, we integrate the group engagement model of justice with the emotion regulation perspective. Specifically, we argue that the detrimental effect of lower procedural fairness on performance is attenuated when individuals engage in reappraisal. Moreover, this is the case because reappraisal makes lower procedural fairness less likely to undermine self-perceived standing in the organization. Three experiments and a multisource survey among employees reveal support for these predictions. This research contributes to the organizational justice literature by showing that reappraisal can help maintain performance when people have experienced low procedural fairness, extending the typical finding that low procedural fairness undermines performance. Theoretical and practical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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