System justification in organizational contexts: How a Motivated preference for the status quo can affect organizational attitudes and behaviors
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. In this chapter, we put forth the premise that people's motivated tendency to justify and defend their external systems has important, and largely unexplored, implications for the field of organizational behavior. Drawing on recent theoretical and empirical work emerging from System Justification Theory (Jost & Banaji, 1994), we propose that people's desire to view prevailing structural arrangements in a positive light may uniquely contribute to our understanding of the psychology of people in organizational settings. We begin by specifically highlighting System Justification Theory's implications for: organizational change, employee citizenship behaviors, and integration of a diverse workforce. We then review empirical work on the situations in which people's system-justification motive is likely to be particularly pronounced and discuss how these situations may manifest in organizational contexts. Following this, we describe several streams of research on the consequences of the system-justification motive, with a focus on the implications of these findings for organizational members' perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors in the workplace.
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