The influence of decision power on distributive fairness
We study the influence of decision power on fairness in the division of gains from productive activity. In an experimental setting, two actors are involved in generating a gain, but only one contributes actively by completing a task. In three treatments, decision power to divide the gain is assigned to (1) the inactive, (2) both the inactive and the active, (3) the active participant. Results show that changes in decision power not only affect allocations in accordance with previous research, but that they also alter fairness perceptions. In particular, full decision power significantly enhances self-serving interpretations of fairness. We discuss implications for organizational design.
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