Doctoral thesis

It's not what you say but how you say it : interpersonal justice enactment at work : the actor perspective


  • Fribourg (Switzerland), [2023]

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Thèse: Université de Fribourg (Suisse), 2023

English Research investigating organizational justice from an actors' perspective has advanced over the last decade, but our understanding is still fragmented. This dissertation aims to complement and extend the current theoretical knowledge to provide leverage for practical measures that promote justice. This dissertation focuses on interpersonal justice enactment – the degree individuals in power positions within organizations express respect and propriety in their daily workplace interactions. Although the least explored, this justice dimension is crucial for employees (to feel respected and valued) and actors alike (to revitalize their psychological resources). As part of this dissertation, both the phase before and after an interpersonal justicerelevant event is illuminated. As part of this holistic approach, various internal and external conditions are addressed simultaneously to draw a more comprehensive and adequate picture, providing novel insights into for whom and when current empirical and theoretical based
assumptions apply. First, a set of two studies (Manuscript 1) – dedicated to the before-justice phase – investigates the adverse effect of high situational demands, and the role of personand context-specific conditions as unique and interrelated boundary conditions. Second, a set of three studies (Manuscript 2) – dedicated to the after-justice enactment phase – empirically investigates actors' affective response to their own interpersonal justice enactment, acknowledging the role of person-specific and situation-specific cognitive evaluations as unique and inter-related boundary conditions. Along with interpersonal justice, interpersonal injustice is investigated. This represents a novel conceptualization and measurement approach in actorcentric research which can refine current theoretical models. The integrated findings provide a novel answer to why interpersonal justice at work can occur and why it may persist: (1) Because
being interpersonally just and avoiding interpersonally unjust behavior appears to be
challenging for actors in situations with competing situational demands. (2) Because not to all actors acting interpersonally unjust provokes the feeling of having done something wrong. Finally, this dissertation recommends supporting actors’ interpersonal justice enactment by fostering justice-promotive values and by establishing clear interpersonal justice promotive standards in organizations.
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
  • English
  • Bibliographie
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