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Unformatted text preview: distributive and procedural fairness. Out of the blue, Greg’s boss
tells him that she has completed his performance evaluation and that he will receive
a healthy pay raise starting next month. Greg has been working very hard, and he
is pleased with the pay raise (distributive fairness). However, he is vaguely unhappy
about the fact that all this occurred without his participation. Where he used to
work, the employee and the boss would complete independent performance evaluation forms and then sit down and discuss their differences. This provided good
feedback for the employee. Greg wonders how his peers who got less generous raises
are reacting to the boss’s style.
Procedural fairness is particularly relevant to outcomes such as performance
evaluations, pay raises, promotions, layoffs, and work assignments. In allocating
such outcomes, the following factors contribute to perceptions of procedural fairness.28 The allocator
■ gives adequate reasons for the decisions she takes;
follows consistent procedures over time and across people;
uses accurate information and appears unbiased;
allows two-way communication during the allocation process; and
welcomes appeals of the procedure or allocation. As you might imagine, procedural fairness seems especially likely to provoke dissatisfaction when people also see distributive fairness as being low.29 One view notes
that dissatisfaction will be “maximized when people believe that they would have
obtained better outcomes if the decision maker had used other procedures that
should have been implemented.”30 (Students who receive lower grades than their
friends will recognize the wisdom of this observation!) Thus, Greg, mentioned
above, will probably not react too badly to the lack of consultation, while his peers
who did not receive large raises might strongly resent the process that the boss used. Chapter 4 Values, Attitudes, and Work Behaviour 115 Disposition
Could your personality contribute to your feelings of job satisfaction? This is the
essential question guiding recent research on the relationship between disposition
and job satisfaction. Underlying the previous discussion is the obvious implication
that job satisfaction can be increased by changing the work environment to increase
fairness and decrease the discrepancy between what an individual wants and what
the job offers. Underlying the dispositional view of job satisfaction is the idea that
some people are predisposed by virtue of their personalities to be more or less satisfied despite changes in discrepancy or fairness. This follows from the discussion in
Chapter 2 on the dispositional approach and personality.
Some of the research that suggests that disposition contributes to job satisfaction
is fascinating. Although each of these studies has some problems, as a group they
point to a missing dispositional link.31 For example:
■ ■ ■ Identical twins raised apart from early childhood tend to have similar levels of
Job satisfaction tends to be fairly stable over time, even when changes in
Disposition measured early in adolescence is correlated with one’s job satisfaction as a mature adult. Taken together, these findings suggest that some personality characteristics originating in genetics or early learning contribute to adult job satisfaction.
Recent research on disposition and job satisfaction has centred around the “Big
Five” personality traits (Chapter 2). People who are extraverted and conscientious
tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, while those high in neuroticism are less satisfied.32 Also, people who are high in self-esteem and internal locus of control are
more satisfied.33 Thus, in general, people who are more optimistic and proactive
report higher job satisfaction. Mood and emotion may contribute to this connection, so we will now examine these topics. Mood and Emotion
The picture we have painted so far of the determinants of job satisfaction has been
mostly one of calculation and rationality: people calculate discrepancies, compare
job inputs to outcomes, and so on. But what about the intense feelings that are
sometimes seen in work settings—the joy of a closed business deal or the despair
that leads to workplace homicides? Or what about that vague feeling of a lack of
accomplishment that blunts the pleasure of a dream job? We are speaking here
about the role of affect as a determinant of job satisfaction. Affect is simply a broad
label for feelings. These feelings include emotions, which are intense, often shortlived, and caused by a particular event such as a bad performance appraisal.
Common emotions include joy, pride, anger, fear, and sadness. Affect also refers to
moods, which are less intense, longer-lived, and more diffuse feelings.
How do emotions and moods affect job satisfaction? Affective Events Theory,
proposed by Howard Weiss and Russell Cropanzano, addresses this question.34
Most basically, the theory reminds us that jobs actually consist of a se...
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- Spring '10