Willing and able: Action-state orientation and the relation between procedural justice and cooperation
van Dijke, Marius × De Cremer, David Brebels, Lieven Van Quaquebeke, Niels #
Journal of Management vol:first published online
Existing justice theory explains why fair procedures motivate employees to adopt cooperative goals, but it fails to explain how employees strive towards these goals. We study self-regulatory abilities that underlie goal striving; abilities that should thus affect employees’ display of cooperative behavior in response to procedural justice. Building on action control theory, we argue that employees who display effective self-regulatory strategies (action oriented employees) display relatively strong cooperative behavioral responses to fair procedures. A multisource field study and a laboratory experiment support this prediction. A subsequent experiment addresses the process underlying this effect by explicitly showing that action orientation facilitates attainment of the cooperative goals that people adopt in response to fair procedures, thus facilitating the display of actual cooperative behavior. This goal striving approach better integrates research on the relationship between procedural justice and employee cooperation in the self-regulation and the work motivation literature. It also offers organizations a new perspective on making procedural justice effective in stimulating employee cooperation by suggesting factors that help employees reach their adopted goals.