Previous research has shown that perceptions of justice have a relationship with many organizational outcomes, but has concentrated on employees or job applicants who were directly affected. In contrast, the purpose of this study is to investigate work colleagues' perceptions of justice of a personnel selection decision when they were not directly involved themselves.
An experimental design incorporating vignettes provided information about an internal and an external job candidate, and information about who was selected for a position. In total, 297 participants rated the vignettes from the perspective of co‐workers, using a qualitative and quantitative questionnaire.
ANOVA results showed that participants believed there was greater justice when the internal candidate was offered the position. The qualitative results showed that this was due to the perception that previous employment in the position was something positive that needed to be considered.
The findings have implications for selection panels, who may not have considered the impact of previous experience with the organization when making selection decisions.
This paper has investigated the issue from a perspective which has not been given much previous attention. Organizational members, not directly involved in the decision‐making process, but affected by, and with views on, the decision‐making process are the focus of this study into perceptions of justice in selection decisions.
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