|What Influences How Higher-Status People Respond to Lower-Status Others? Effects of Procedural Fairness, Outcome Favorability, and Concerns About Status
|| Steven L. Blader, Ya-Ru Chen
||How do individuals with higher status react to their encounters with lower-status counterparts? Four studies explore this issue, focusing on higher-status parties' concerns with the outcome favorability and procedural fairness of those encounters. Across a wide range of contexts and bases of status, Study 1 found an interaction effect in which outcome favorability had a stronger relationship with higher-status parties' reactions when procedural fairness was high rather than low, in sharp contrast to previous findings in the justice literature. Studies 2, 3, and 4 explored the mechanism underlying this novel finding, testing the proposal that this interaction pattern is rooted in higher-status individuals' use of outcome and procedure information to determine whether their counterpart is validating—or challenging—their relatively higher status position. They conduct this test by examining the moderating influence of dispositional factors that vary the extent to which individuals are interested in social information from their lower-status counterpart regarding their relative status position. In particular, they test the prediction that the interaction will be accentuated among individuals who are (1) low in self-esteem, (2) high in need to belong, (3) low in power distance orientation, and (4) high in general concern about status. Results confirm these predictions. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings for social exchanges at work, organizational justice, and status are discussed.
||Organization Science, Vol. 22(4)
||status, justice, outcomes, social exchange