Title

Hearing It Through the Grapevine: The Influence of Source of Layoff Information and Leader-member-relations on Survivors' Justice Perceptions

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 1998

Publication Source

Personnel Psychology

Volume

51

Issue

1

Inclusive pages

25-54

Publisher

Blackwell

Place of Publication

United Kingdom

ISBN/ISSN

00315826

Abstract

This study developed and tested a model of survivors' fairness perceptions. Data on leader-member relations and affective commitment was collected from 217 R & D professionals approximately 15 months prior to a major layoff. A second wave of data assessed source of layoff announcement, legitimacy of the organizational account, and procedural and distributive fairness 1 month after the layoff occurred. Results of path analysis confirmed hypothesized relationships, and the variance accounted for in distributive and procedural fairness was 24% and 48%, respectively. Procedural fairness was higher for survivors who were informed of impending layoffs by their managers. However, this effect was stronger for high than for low leader-member exchange (LMX) employees. Legitimacy of the account was positively related to procedural fairness. Distributive fairness was indirectly related to the independent variables through procedural fairness. Affective commitment of 78 of the original respondents was assessed approximately 24 months after the layoff. Post-layoff affective commitment was significantly related to procedural but not to distributive fairness perceptions. The findings underscore the critical role of direct supervisors in layoff announcements as well as providing evidence of the long-term effects of procedural fairness on survivor commitment.

Keywords

mansour-cole, grapevine, influence, layoff, justice perceptions

Disciplines

Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Organizational Behavior and Theory

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