Who does and who does not show the negative effects of informational injustice?
2012 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Background: Injustice at the workplace is known to be a serious stressor for workplace-related attitudes, behaviours and health. Earlier research shows that higher age and trust is important in preventing increased turnover intention. Others found that employees who engage in withdrawal behaviour indicate less emotional exhaustion when perceiving injustice. However, traditional coping behaviours have not been studied as moderators before. Yet, this could elucidate preventive factors of how to deal with injustice experiences at work. Finding coping strategies that buffer the expected negative effects of injustice might disclose more beneficial ways of handling injustice than withdrawal behaviour for the organisation and employees.
The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of coping strategies as the moderators for the relation between supervisory informational injustice and its relation to job satisfaction, turnover intention and work-related health. We argue that employees with problem-focused coping (changing the situation) may have difficulties in applying this strategy within a hierarchical dependence relationship like the one to the supervisor. We predict that problem-focused coping does not attenuate the expected negative effects of perceived injustice. Employees with more emotion-focused coping strategies (avoidance and devaluation strategies) may perceive higher job satisfaction, lower turnover intention but impaired health. The analyses were also probed for the effect of gender.
Method: Data from 373 Swedish accountants is used. The data collection was conducted in 2009.
Results: We applied moderated hierarchical regression analyses. While change-oriented coping was found to moderate the relation between informational justice and turnover intention and work-related health, this coping strategy did not make a difference when informational justice was low. For women, the combination of high informational justice and high change-oriented coping was associated with lower levels of turnover intention and more positive work-related health. Contrary to our predictions, avoidance and devaluation coping strategies had different effects from each other. Devaluation coping attenuated the negative association between informational injustice and job satisfaction as well as turnover intention. The opposite was true for avoidance coping which amplified the negative association between informational injustice and job satisfaction and turnover intention.
Discussion: Based on these results two main conclusions can be made from this study. First, changing the situation seems to increase the positive effect of informational justice from the supervisor. Second, devaluing problems seems to work as a buffer factor for the negative effects of informational injustice whereas avoidance coping worsens these effects.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79093OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79093DiVA: diva2:547147
10th European Association of Occupational Health Psychology Conference, 11-13 April, 2012, Zurich, Switzerland