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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2021

Benjamin J. Thomas and Spencer Harris

The status quo for managing deviant workplace behavior is underperforming. The current research offers a new approach for scholars and managers in approaching these…

Abstract

Purpose

The status quo for managing deviant workplace behavior is underperforming. The current research offers a new approach for scholars and managers in approaching these misbehaviors. Namely, we outline how system justification theory, which holds that people are motivated to rationalize and justify the systems—including workplaces—to which they belong even when those systems disadvantage them or others, offers value in explaining and addressing the prevalence of such misbehaviors and contemporary failures in managing them.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual research explores the situated role of onlookers to patterns of workplace misbehavior, like harassment. We explore existing scholarship on why and how onlookers respond to such actions, including cultural elements, and draw parallels between those accounts and the foundational concepts of system justification theory to demonstrate an unrealized theoretical overlap valuable for its immediate applications in research.

Findings

The current paper establishes clear links between system justification theory and efforts to manage misbehavior, establishing system justifications as freezing forces in the culture of a workplace that must be unfrozen to successfully implement strategies for managing misbehavior. Further, we describe how organizational onlookers to misbehavior are subject to system justifications, which limit prescribed means of stopping these patterns of wrongdoing.

Originality/value

Very limited organizational scholarship has utilized system justification theory, despite calls for such applications. Given the existing shortcomings in scholarship and management approaches to workplace misbehavior, the current research breaks from the status quo and offers an established theory as a new way to approach these misbehaviors.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 17 December 2008

John T. Jost, Cheryl J. Wakslak and Tom R. Tyler

In addition to serving a hegemonic function, system-justifying ideologies serve the palliative function of enabling people to feel better about inequality. We summarize…

Abstract

In addition to serving a hegemonic function, system-justifying ideologies serve the palliative function of enabling people to feel better about inequality. We summarize three studies supporting this proposition. In the first study, an arbitrary hierarchy was created using the “Star Power” simulation. Results reveal that system justification is associated with increased positive affect, satisfaction, and decreased negative affect, guilt, and frustration. Two additional studies demonstrate that the dampening effect of system justification on support for the redistribution of resources is mediated by reduced moral outrage but not guilt or negative affect. Implications for social change and social justice are discussed.

Details

Justice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-104-6

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Book part
Publication date: 7 June 2010

Leigh Plunkett Tost and E. Allan Lind

Purpose – In this chapter, we seek to resolve the conflicting implications that emerge from status quo theories of justice, on the one hand, and theories of distributive…

Abstract

Purpose – In this chapter, we seek to resolve the conflicting implications that emerge from status quo theories of justice, on the one hand, and theories of distributive, procedural, and interactional justice on the other. Specifically, status quo theories depict individuals as resistant to perceptions of injustice in their social environments, whereas theories of distributive, procedural, and interactional justice depict individuals as quite sensitive to the justice that characterizes outcomes and treatment.

Methodology/approach – We build on previous research on the justice judgment process to consider ways in which the findings from these two research streams can be integrated.

Findings – We suggest that the two overarching streams of research have identified and empirically explored two distinct modes of justice evaluation: a system justification mode and a system critique mode.

Originality/value of chapter – We develop a model of the justice judgment process that specifies the circumstances under which each of the two modes is likely to operate.

Details

Fairness and Groups
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-162-7

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Article
Publication date: 14 February 2019

Benjamin J. Thomas and Patricia Meglich

The purpose of this paper is to test the explanatory effects of the system justification theory on reactions to new employee hazing.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the explanatory effects of the system justification theory on reactions to new employee hazing.

Design/methodology/approach

Three studies (N = 107, 121 and 128), all using experimental assignment, vignettes of workplace hazing and two-level repeated measures ANCOVA designs, with dispositional variables included as covariates and justification of workplace hazing processes as dependent variables, were conducted.

Findings

Onlookers are more likely to justify long-standing (cf. recently adopted) hazing systems and hazing systems used by highly cohesive (cf. loosely cohesive) teams, supporting the application of the system justification theory to workplace hazing reactions.

Research limitations/implications

The use of vignette research and onlookers (cf. hazed employees) may limit inferences drawn about employee reactions in workplaces that use hazing.

Practical implications

Despite its negative associations, hazing at work persists, with 25 percent of current sample reported being hazed at work. The system justification theory, which the authors applied to hazing, offers an explanation for stakeholders’ willingness to sustain and perpetuate hazing, and onlookers’ seeming blind-spot regarding outrage over workplace hazing. This theory holds promise for combatting passive responses to workplace hazing.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to empirically test explanations for workplace hazing’s perpetuation, by applying the system justification theory to the social system of workplace hazing. Moreover, it is the first paper to offer empirical evidence of hazing’s prevalence across at least 25 percent of sampled industries and organizational rank.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2013

John W. Michel, Devin L. Wallace and Rachel A. Rawlings

This paper aims to use the stereotype content model to explore the extent to which voter admiration for presidential candidates mediates the charismatic leadership …

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to use the stereotype content model to explore the extent to which voter admiration for presidential candidates mediates the charismatic leadership – voting behavior relationship. The paper also seeks to test whether system justification beliefs moderate the mediated relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data collected both before and after the 2008 US presidential election, this paper tested the hypothesized relationships using a conditional indirect effects model with 126 undergraduate students enrolled in the psychology department and business school of a large university in the USA.

Findings

Results demonstrated that admiration mediates the charismatic leadership – voting behavior relationship. Moreover, this mediated relationship varied by system justification beliefs.

Practical implications

These results suggest that charismatic leaders arouse specific emotions (i.e. admiration) in followers and that emotional arousal inspires followers to act on the behalf of the leader. However, this relationship only holds when people are motivated to embrace change. This suggests that not all followers will be responsive to charismatic leaders.

Social implications

For political leaders, these findings suggest that being charismatic is important when change motives are high, but it may be less important when stability is highly valued.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that charismatic leaders do arouse the emotions of followers and that such emotions motivate followers to engage in behaviors on behalf of the leader.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1996

F. Frank Chen

Looks at the literature to date which has indicated some successful cases of using traditional economic analysis techniques in justifying factory automation. Points out…

Abstract

Looks at the literature to date which has indicated some successful cases of using traditional economic analysis techniques in justifying factory automation. Points out, however, that strategic implications and integration effects of factory control systems are beyond the scope of currently available justification schemes. Presents a new approach to justification of advanced factory management systems, namely activity‐based costing (ABC). Introduces frameworks of typical advanced factory management systems and briefly discusses basic concepts, definitions and current applications of ABC. Enumerates the need for this new justification approach, the hierarchy of factory operating expenses and steps to implement ABC in acquiring advanced factory management systems. Concludes with a case study example to illustrate the application of this new approach.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 96 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2005

Paul V. Martorana, Adam D. Galinsky and Hayagreeva Rao

When will individuals accept or reject systems that subordinate them, when will they take actions that will challenge these status hierarchies, and when will such…

Abstract

When will individuals accept or reject systems that subordinate them, when will they take actions that will challenge these status hierarchies, and when will such challenges be more intense, overt, and non-normative? Research suggests that individuals often justify and maintain systems that subordinate them, yet we suggest that there are certain boundary conditions that predict when individuals will no longer accept their place in such systems. We propose a model that examines how multiple factors: A sense of power, emotions associated with power, and perceptions of the system's legitimacy and stability – predict when those in low power will act against authority or when they will act to justify and maintain such systems. We also suggest that the level and type of action taken against a hierarchy changes as more of the elements (i.e., sense of power, emotions, perceptions of the status hierarchy) of our model are present. We predict that the actions taken against hierarchies become more overt and non-normative as more of these factors are present.

Details

Status and Groups
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-358-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1995

Lisa Grantham

Difficulties in measuring the benefits of office automation arepreventing investment in systems. Examines the problems fororganizations attempting to cost‐justify office…

Abstract

Difficulties in measuring the benefits of office automation are preventing investment in systems. Examines the problems for organizations attempting to cost‐justify office automation. Benefits attributed to office automation used to be quantifiable, however, more recently office automation is being used to support managers whose benefits are much “softer” and not as quantifiable. Proposes that today′s methods of justification focus too strongly on quantifiable benefits and do not neccesarily justify expenditure on office systems. Suggests that, while it is understandable that management will need to be able to justify investments in financial terms, these methods need to evolve to access benefits at both a quantitative and qualitative level which will provide a more credible measure of the value of investments.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 95 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2000

Joseph Sarkis and R.P. Sundarraj

In the last decade, we have witnessed companies investing in financially and laboriously expensive enterprise information technologies (EITs) that unify the internal and…

Abstract

In the last decade, we have witnessed companies investing in financially and laboriously expensive enterprise information technologies (EITs) that unify the internal and external supply chains for the purpose of gaining strategic advantages. As performance metrics data resulting from such investments are beginning to emerge, both practitioners and researchers are taking a critical look at whether these systems indeed produced the benefits proclaimed by their proponents at the pre‐implementation stages. In this context, the well‐managed appraisal, design, operation, and auditing of EITs within the ambit of organizational goals become significant. Provides a conceptual discussion on: a framework outlining a recommended decision process; a categorization of factors that must be considered during the process; and a summary of techniques and tools for the evaluation of those factors.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 30 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2015

Russell Cropanzano, Marion Fortin and Jessica F. Kirk

Justice rules are standards that serve as criteria for formulating fairness judgments. Though justice rules play a role in the organizational justice literature, they have…

Abstract

Justice rules are standards that serve as criteria for formulating fairness judgments. Though justice rules play a role in the organizational justice literature, they have seldom been the subject of analysis in their own right. To address this limitation, we first consider three meta-theoretical dualities that are highlighted by justice rules – the distinction between justice versus fairness, indirect versus direct measurement, and normative versus descriptive paradigms. Second, we review existing justice rules and organize them into four types of justice: distributive (e.g., equity, equality), procedural (e.g., voice, consistent treatment), interpersonal (e.g., politeness, respectfulness), and informational (e.g., candor, timeliness). We also emphasize emergent rules that have not received sufficient research attention. Third, we consider various computation models purporting to explain how justice rules are assessed and aggregated to form fairness judgments. Fourth and last, we conclude by reviewing research that enriches our understanding of justice rules by showing how they are cognitively processed. We observe that there are a number of influences on fairness judgments, and situations exist in which individuals do not systematically consider justice rules.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-016-6

Keywords

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