Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
What role do just-world beliefs play in harmful responses to injustice?
Title of the conference
Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Research suggests that employees sometimes retaliate and sometimes refrain from retaliation for the same reason, namely because they care about justice. In two studies, we seek to solve this apparent inconsistency. Drawing on just world theory, we argue that retaliatory, harmful behavioral strategies to deal with injustice are associated to individual differences in personal belief in a just world (personal BJW). In contrast, individual differences in believing that the world is just in general (general BJW) are linked to the inhibition of these reactions. As a consequence, the relation between injustice and harmful behaviors is stronger for people with a high personal BJW than for those with a low one. General BJW is associated with their inhibition such that the relation between injustice and harmful reactions is weaker for people with a high general BJW than for those with a low one. We found evidence for our hypotheses in a cross-sectional field study and an experiment. We discuss our findings in light of their implications for just-world theory and suggest avenues for future research integrating organizational justice literature.
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