Date of Award

12-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Advisor

Taylor, Mary Anne

Committee Member

Moore , DeWayne

Committee Member

Switzer , Fred

Committee Member

Pury , Cindy

Abstract

The current study assesses how needs influence the relationship between resource and relational concerns and procedural justice. Previous research has examined antecedents of procedural justice but often omits a consideration of individual needs in this analysis. Tyler (1994) found that the variables trust, neutrality, and status recognition were related to procedural justice because they contained variance related to relational concerns. Further research by Heuer, Penrod, Lafer, & Cohn (2002) also found that trust, neutrality, and status recognition were related to procedural justice based on resource concerns as well as relational concerns. However, no studies have examined the extent to which an individual's needs will influence the relationship between these antecedents and procedural justice. In response to Baumeister & Leary's (1995) call for greater research into the influence of needs on psychological processes, and using the theoretical framework outlined by Heuer et al. (2002), we examined the potentially moderating effects of existence and relatedness needs (Alderfer ,1969) on trust, neutrality and status recognition. Thus, this study was conducted to examine the moderating effect of existence and relatedness needs on the relationship between the independent variables trust, neutrality, and status recognition and the dependent variable procedural justice.
A series of studies using 840 currently employed participants located throughout the United States were conducted where participants were asked to read a vignette describing a failed project at work which resulted in a negative performance review. Trust, neutrality, and status recognition were manipulated by describing the manager who conducted the performance review as trustworthy or untrustworthy, neutral or not neutral and recognizing the individual's status within the organization or not recognizing the individual's status within the organization.
A study was conducted to examine the factor structures of three direct measures of resource and relational concerns which were developed to supplement the three independent variables of trust, neutrality, and status recognition. The three measures were a resource concern measure, and two relational concern measures which examined relational concerns an individual may feel in regards to a manager (first measure) and peer group (second measure). The study to examine the factor structures of these three measures used 200 participants. The results of the factor analyses indicated that on the resource concern measure, three of the four items loaded adequately on the factor with a maximal internal consistency of .77. The relational concern (peer) analysis indicated that all four items loaded on the factor with a somewhat lower maximal internal consistency of .67. The relational concern (manager) analysis indicated that all four items loaded on the factor with a maximal internal consistency of .75.
Finally, a study using 360 participants was conducted to examine the primary research question of whether existence and relatedness needs moderate the relationship between trust, neutrality, and status recognition and procedural justice. The results indicated relatedness needs (peer) marginally moderated the relationship between trust and procedural justice; however, none of the needs in the remaining eight hypotheses moderated the relationship between trust, neutrality, and status recognition and procedural justice. Post hoc analyses were conducted and the implications of the findings as well as future directions are discussed.

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