Procedural Justice and Participation in Task Selection: The Role of Control in Mediating Justice Judgments
Recently there has been considerable debate concerning the causal role of perceived control in determining procedural justice judgments. Two experiments on task-assignment procedures, one conducted in a laboratory and one conducted in a field setting, examined the effects of voice and choice on perceived control, perceived procedural justice, task commitment, and task performance. Three models of procedural justice-two positing control mediation of justice judgments and one positing covarying, but not mediating, effects of control-suggested that the procedural justice effect of voice beyond choice would be especially potent when the participation involved decisions about task selection procedures as opposed to decisions about specific task assignments. The models differed with respect to the causal relations they predicted. Both studies examined the effects of three modes of participation (choice + voice, choice only, or no participation) in either the selection of a specific task or the selection of a procedure to be used to assign a task. In the laboratory experiment, 72 students worked on a business simulation task; in the field experiment, 72 employees of a mail-order firm worked at taking telephone orders. In both experiments the hypothesized effects were found, and in both experiments LISREL VI analyses showed that the justice judgment effects were not mediated by perceived control. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for theory in procedural justice and its application. © 1987 American Psychological Association.
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