An instrumental and relational explanation of witness reactions to interactional injustice in the workplace: The case of inter-peer derogation
Research on organizational injustice has recently begun to endeavor to understand the conditions in which a witness who is not directly affected by such a situation can be encouraged to react. This article contributes to this emerging and mainly theoretical literature by empirically testing the influence of three witness characteristics: one instrumental (just world belief), one moral (cynical hostility) and one relational (personal experience of injustice). Using a synthesis of the three theoretical explanations currently available and an experiment involving 223 employees and how they attribute responsibility for an act of denigration in the workplace, we reveal the intra-psychic and inter-group conditions in which the predisposition of the witness to offer help to the person responsible for the act, if needed, is weak. The findings alert managers to the dangers for the smooth running of the organization of allowing a climate of denigration to develop. They also develop current theoretical knowledge of witnesses’ attitudinal reactions to interactional injustice in the workplace.
Copyright (c) 2018 Franck Biétry, Jordane Creusier
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