The application of referent cognitions theory to legal-claiming by terminated workers: The role of organizational justice and anger

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Abstract

This research utilizes referent cognitions theory (RCT, Folger, 1993) to investigate the filing of discrimination legal-claims by terminated workers. Specifically, three questions are investigated: (1) whether procedural, distributive, and interactional justice interact to predict discrimination legal-claiming; (2) whether state anger (a reaction to a situation) partially mediates the relationship between the three-way interaction of distributive, procedural, and interactional justice, and legal-claiming; and (3) whether trait anger (a dispositional trait) moderates the relationship between this three-way justice interaction and legal-claiming. Five hundred eighty-three terminated employees were surveyed at unemployment insurance offices on the east coast. The results support predictions that a three-way justice interaction predicts legal-claiming, that state anger is a partial mediator of this relationship, and that trait anger moderates the relationship between the three-way justice interaction and legal-claiming. The implications for organizational justice and RCT are discussed. Further, there is discussion of managerial interventions to reduce legal-claiming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-728
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Management
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2003

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Organizational justice
Cognition
Workers
Anger
Interaction
Justice
Procedural justice
Discrimination
Distributive justice
Randomized controlled trial
Interactional justice
Unemployment insurance
Prediction
Employees
Coast
Mediator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Finance

Cite this

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abstract = "This research utilizes referent cognitions theory (RCT, Folger, 1993) to investigate the filing of discrimination legal-claims by terminated workers. Specifically, three questions are investigated: (1) whether procedural, distributive, and interactional justice interact to predict discrimination legal-claiming; (2) whether state anger (a reaction to a situation) partially mediates the relationship between the three-way interaction of distributive, procedural, and interactional justice, and legal-claiming; and (3) whether trait anger (a dispositional trait) moderates the relationship between this three-way justice interaction and legal-claiming. Five hundred eighty-three terminated employees were surveyed at unemployment insurance offices on the east coast. The results support predictions that a three-way justice interaction predicts legal-claiming, that state anger is a partial mediator of this relationship, and that trait anger moderates the relationship between the three-way justice interaction and legal-claiming. The implications for organizational justice and RCT are discussed. Further, there is discussion of managerial interventions to reduce legal-claiming.",
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