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Seeing the "forest" or the "trees" of organizational justice: Effects of temporal perspective on employee concerns about unfair treatment at work

  • Cojuharenco, Irina
  • Patient, David
  • Bashshur, Michael R.

What events do employees recall or anticipate when they think of past or future unfair treatment at work? We propose that an employee's temporal perspective can change the salience of different types of injustice through its effect on cognitions about employment. Study 1 used a survey in which employee temporal focus was measured as an individual difference. Whereas greater levels of future focus related positively to concerns about distributive injustice, greater levels of present focus related positively to concerns about interactional injustice. In Study 2, an experimental design focused employee attention on timeframes that differed in temporal orientation and temporal distance. Whereas distributive injustice was more salient when future (versus past) orientation was induced, interactional injustice was more salient when past orientation was induced and at less temporal distance. Study 3 showed that the mechanism underlying the effect of employee temporal perspective is abstract versus concrete cognitions about employment.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Volume (Year): 116 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 17-31

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:116:y:2011:i:1:p:17-31
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

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  1. Bluedorn, Allen C. & Martin, Gwen, 2008. "The time frames of entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-20, January.
  2. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  3. Heath, Chip, 1999. "On the Social Psychology of Agency Relationships: Lay Theories of Motivation Overemphasize Extrinsic Incentives," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 25-62, April.
  4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  5. Cohen-Charash, Yochi & Spector, Paul E., 2001. "The Role of Justice in Organizations: A Meta-Analysis," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 278-321, November.
  6. Shipp, Abbie J. & Edwards, Jeffrey R. & Lambert, Lisa Schurer, 2009. "Conceptualization and measurement of temporal focus: The subjective experience of the past, present, and future," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 1-22, September.
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