The JuDy project is concerned with how employees and managers make fairness judgments, which are an important driver of attitudes and behaviors in the workplace. The proposed research will build on a novel theoretical framework integrating motivated cognition and organizational justice that I have developed recently with my co-authors (Barclay, Bashshur & Fortin, 2017) and will include empirical investigations of fairness in the contexts of maternity leaves and tough managerial decisions. Understanding fairness from the perspective of different parties and stakeholders in important situations such as these will allow organizations, universities and policy makers to improve fairness dynamics. The project thus addresses fundamental research objectives while also contributing insights into societal challenges.
The backbone of the project is a new way of thinking about organizational justice: to understand people as motivated and active information processors in the context of fairness judgments. That is, when people construct their justice perceptions they are influenced by their personal goals and motives (Kunda, 1990), which can change over time. This novel perspective will help us to understand and build on important puzzles in justice research, namely why the same person may change their fairness perceptions of the same event over time and why different people (e.g., managers versus subordinates) may perceive the same justice actions in completely different ways.
A first goal of the project is therefore to further develop theorizing regarding why and how different motives can explain different fairness assessments of the same person across time and across people.
A second goal of the project is the empirical investigation of within-person justice dynamics. This research will be conducted in the context of women’s return from maternity leave, which is a crucial transition time that gives rise to numerous fairness evaluations. Longitudinal interviews and a quantitative diary study with women returning from maternity leave will allow us to gain insights into daily as well as longer-term dynamics and understand how the motives and organizational fairness experiences of women are linked with their career intentions and decisions. These studies will both contribute to the body of research knowledge on within-person justice dynamics, and allow for a more fine grained and person centric understanding of the return experience of women, which is known to be an important tipping point for gender equality in terms of career progression in Europe.
A third goal of the project is the empirical investigation of diverging perspectives on justice between different stakeholders in the context of “tough decisions” that have to be made by managers in organizations, that is to say decisions which involve choices between multiple undesirable options. Such decisions make justice at the same time more important and more challenging to attain. Managers may pursue their own motives in these challenging situations, while employees pursue other motives. Both experimental and survey data will be used to explore tough managerial decision making in order to shed light on how the salience of different motives the manager may have will lead to different enactments of justice and how subordinates perceive and react to these.
The proposed research program combines both theoretical and multi-method empirical work with the support of a team of international collaborators with complementary methodological and disciplinary backgrounds. It would allow me to build my own research team and to develop a novel and coherent stream of research in the field of organizational justice.
To maximize the benefits of the project, the outcomes will be disseminated in high-impact peer-reviewed scientific journals. In addition, the research findings will be shared with practitioners and students via a workshop, panel discussions, research translations and a video case.
Madame Marion Fortin (Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Centre de Recherche en Management)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
UT1C - CRM Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Centre de Recherche en Management
Help of the ANR 246,046 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2018 - 48 Months