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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues
Aug 24, 2020

Seeking and finding justice: Why and when managers’ feedback seeking enhances justice enactment


There is growing recognition that justice enactment is a complex activity and that managers face significant contextual and situational roadblocks when attempting to enact justice. However, research has not fully examined how managers, in the course of their jobs, can (a) identify and respond to justice-related issues and (b) assemble and synthesize relevant information required to act in a manner consistent with justice rules. To begin addressing these concerns, we posit feedback seeking as a key managerial behavior that can facilitate greater justice enactment because it promotes the flow of both solicited and unsolicited information from employees to managers. Such information flows enhance the saliency of fairness goals and allow managers to learn about employees’ contextualized needs in ways that facilitate increased justice enactment. However, we argue that these effects are less likely to occur when feedback-seeking managers have lower generalized self-efficacy. An analysis of archival data (NManagers = 8,706, NEmployees = 40,830), a study with manager–employee dyads (N = 181), and a time-separated study of managers (N = 196) provide preliminary evidence in line with these arguments. We discuss the implications of our theory and findings with respect to the justice and feedback-seeking literature.

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