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Capturing the Justice Judgment: An Application of the Theory of Representative Design in two Policy Capturing Studies in Organizational Justice

By CLAIRE HAYLEY GERMAN

Abstract

An understanding of how justice judgments are formed is essential knowledge for practitioners given the adverse consequences which may arise due to perceptions of unfairness. In this thesis, two studies are conducted to explore the overall justice judgment, complying with the principles of representative design in order that the stimuli and situations are relevant and realistic for the sampled participants, and reflect real world decision making processes. \ud Study 1 adopts a policy capturing design using a sample of 12 Judges to rate the overall fairness of 56 performance appraisals (N=672 situations). Study 2 uses Mouselab, a process-tracing tool, to present the stimuli and record the information acquisition processes used by individuals. This study uses N=2744 situations on which within- and between- individual analyses are conducted. \ud The selection process of the 10 cues on which judgments were formed explained around 82% of variance in overall justice judgments. Objective decision making policies are inferred using regressions, and are compared to subjective policies stated by each Judge. \ud Results illustrate that unequal weights are assigned to justice antecedents in the formation of overall judgments, and that the presence of antecedents does not ensure their salience to an overall judgment. Furthermore, the salience of the role of justice dimensions varies between individuals. Judges are mostly consistent in making justice judgments between situations (r=0.63), but exhibit poor self-insight into their own mental processes. Comparison of objective and subjectively ranked cues was low (r=0.02), and between objectively and subjectively rated cues (r=0.26). Measures of personality and cognitive control (CRT) are included to explore decision making between individuals. \ud This thesis demonstrates possibilities for representative design in justice research, and illustrates how it can enhance the capabilities of policy capturing studies. Practical implications for appraisers are discussed in light of how fair performance appraisals are perceived to be

Topics: Organizational justice, Fairness, Representative design, Policy capturing, Process tracing, Mouselab.
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.dur.ac.uk:3202
Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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