Organizational Politics, Justice, and Support: Managing the Social Climate of the Workplace

By Russell S. Cropanzano; K. Michele Kacmar | Go to book overview

regulations, and the more time all employees must spend learning the regulations and documenting how they abide by them.

Our view suggests that organizations might consider alternative responses to specific incidences of power abuse. That is, rather than creating new policies to prevent a specific type of power abuse from ever occurring again, the organization may want to rely upon the justice norms prevalent in the organization and community cultures to check power abuse. The norms may not always check power abuse--for as we have argued, the perpetrator can inoculate the victims and audiences, or engage in damage control after the abuse occurs, instead of refraining from power abuse. However, we suggest that the justice norms are a far less expensive control system--by both social and economic measures--than is the increasingly favored alternative form of social control known as the legalistic organization.


CONCLUSION

We have argued that justice acts as an important form of social control in organizational functioning. In addition, we presented a taxonomy of institutional and interpersonal responses to the abuse of power. Each strategy was reflective of a sensitivity to conform to or to appear to be in accordance with justice norms. As such, justice acts as a social control on the use and abuse of power in organizations.

While we have highlighted the clear impact of justice to curb power abuses, we also note that that same justice motive may also undermine the organizational functioning and organizational citizens it was intended to protect. As such, we view justice processes as both social and paradoxical.


NOTE

We thank Susan Bies, Russell S. Cropanzano, and Jerry Goodstein for comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript.

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