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Being fair is costly for bosses - Input Junkie
March 26th, 2014
12:53 pm


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Being fair is costly for bosses
The abstract:
Bosses who are fair make their workers happier and their companies more productive, but in the end may be burning themselves out. The study found that the act of carefully monitoring the fairness of workplace decisions wears down supervisors mentally and emotionally. "Managers who are mentally fatigued are more prone to making mistakes and it is more difficult for them to control deviant or counterproductive impulses," the lead author said.

As is annoyingly common, there's no mention of the size of the effect, nor the variation in it.

The original article's abstract (the article itself is behind a paywall):
The justice literature has paid considerable attention to the beneficial effects of fair behaviors for recipients of such behaviors. It is possible, however, that exhibiting fair behaviors may come at a cost for actors. In this article, we integrate ego depletion theory with organizational justice research in order to examine the consequences of justice behaviors for actors. We used an experience-sampling method in a sample of managerial employees to examine the relations of performing procedural justice and interpersonal justice behaviors with subsequent changes in actors’ regulatory resources. Our results indicate that procedural justice behaviors are draining, whereas interpersonal justice behaviors are replenishing for actors. Depletion, in turn, adversely affected the performance of citizenship behavior, and depletion mediated relations of justice behavior with citizenship. Furthermore, 2 traits that impact self-regulatory skills—extraversion and neuroticism—moderated the replenishing effects of engaging in interpersonal justice behaviors. We conclude by discussing implications and avenues for future research.

It might mean that administering rules wears people out, but actually talking with people about their concerns and encouraging solutions doesn't wear them out, but I'm guessing. What do you think? Anyone know how to get past the paywall?

Original link thanks to andrewducker.

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Date:March 26th, 2014 07:56 pm (UTC)
I'm too lazy to websearch, but isn't "justice literature" sort of an odd phrase? And other uses of "justice" in these excerpts? Or has "justice" been previously defined as shorthand for -- something -- in some particular, very limited, context?
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