Who Delivers Justice? Source Perceptions of Procedural Fairness

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Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Vol: 27, Issue: 12, Page: 1021-1040

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Cobb, Anthony T.; Vest, Mike; Hills, Fred
article description
Tyler and Bies (1990) argue that how leaders enact and apply formal procedures can affect perceptions of procedural fairness as much as the formal procedures themselves. This study examined directly the extent to which workers see either formal policies and procedures or their supervisors as the source most responsible for the procedural fairness they receive in their performance evaluations. Group differences in these source perceptions between exempt and nonexempt workers were also explored. Results indicate that workers attribute the responsibility for procedural fairness jointly and independently to both their organization's formal policies and procedures and to their supervisors. Results at the group level of analysis indicate that nonexempt workers perceive formal policies and procedures to be more responsible for procedural fairness than do exempt workers. Implications of these findings are discussed.