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In the eyes of the beholder? The role of dispositional trust in judgments of procedural and interactional fairness


  • Bianchi, Emily C.
  • Brockner, Joel


Previous research on the antecedents of people’s judgments of procedural and interactional fairness has focused primarily on situational factors. Across three studies we find that dispositional tendencies, in particular people’s general propensity to trust others, also influence fairness perceptions. People who were more trusting had more positive perceptions of procedural and interactional fairness, even when they were exposed to identical fairness information. We also found that dispositional trust in particular predicted fairness perceptions whereas other individual difference variables reflecting general positivity did not. Moreover, in all three studies, perceptions of fairness mediated the positive relationship between dispositional trust and work attitudes (e.g., organizational commitment), suggesting that one reason people who are more trusting exhibit more positive work attitudes is because they are more likely to believe they are treated fairly. Implications for the justice and trust literatures are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Bianchi, Emily C. & Brockner, Joel, 2012. "In the eyes of the beholder? The role of dispositional trust in judgments of procedural and interactional fairness," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 46-59.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:118:y:2012:i:1:p:46-59
    DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2011.12.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rupp, Deborah E. & Cropanzano, Russell, 2002. "The mediating effects of social exchange relationships in predicting workplace outcomes from multifoci organizational justice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 925-946, September.
    2. Goldsteen, Raymond & Schorr, John K. & Goldsteen, Karen S., 1989. "Longitudinal study of appraisal at Three Mile Island: Implications for life event research," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 389-398, January.
    3. Sweeney, Paul D. & McFarlin, Dean B., 1993. "Workers' Evaluations of the "Ends" and the "Means": An Examination of Four Models of Distributive and Procedural Justice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 23-40, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Colquitt, Jason A. & Scott, Brent A. & Judge, Timothy A. & Shaw, John C., 2006. "Justice and personality: Using integrative theories to derive moderators of justice effects," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 110-127, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jobhdp:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:14-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kong, Dejun Tony, 2016. "A gene-dependent climatoeconomic model of generalized trust," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 226-236.


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