Misery Loves Company: Team Dissonance and the Influence of Supervisor-Focused Interpersonal Justice Climate on Team Cohesiveness

Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 99, No. 6, pp. 1059–1073, 2014

Posted: 19 May 2016

See all articles by Adam C. Stoverink

Adam C. Stoverink

Northern Illinois University - Department of Management

Elizabeth Umphress

Texas A&M University - Mays Business School

Richard G. Gardner

Texas A&M University - Department of Management

Kathi Miner-Rubino

Texas A&M University

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

The organizational justice literature has examined the effects of supervisor-focused interpersonal justice climate, or a team’s shared perception of the dignity and respect it receives from its supervisor, on a number of important outcomes directed at organizational authorities. Considerably less is known about the potential influence of these shared perceptions on coworker-directed outcomes. In 2 experiments, we predict that a low (unfair) supervisor-focused interpersonal justice climate generates greater team cohesiveness than a high (fair) supervisor-focused interpersonal justice climate. We further examine the process through which this effect occurs. Drawing from cognitive dissonance theory, we predict that low (vs. high) supervisor-focused interpersonal justice climate generates greater team dissonance, or shared psychological discomfort, for team members and that this dissonance serves as an underlying mechanism through which supervisor-focused interpersonal justice climate influences a team’s cohesiveness. Our results demonstrate support for these predictions in that low supervisor-focused interpersonal justice climate led to higher levels of both team dissonance and team cohesiveness than did high supervisor focused interpersonal justice climate, and team dissonance mediated this relationship. Implications and areas for future research are discussed.

Keywords: Supervisor-Focused Interpersonal Justice Climate, Dissonance, Team Cohesiveness, Interpersonal Justice

Suggested Citation

Stoverink, Adam C. and Umphress, Elizabeth and Gardner, Richard G. and Miner-Rubino, Kathi, Misery Loves Company: Team Dissonance and the Influence of Supervisor-Focused Interpersonal Justice Climate on Team Cohesiveness (2014). Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 99, No. 6, pp. 1059–1073, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2780975

Adam C. Stoverink (Contact Author)

Northern Illinois University - Department of Management ( email )

245R Barsema Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115
United States

Elizabeth Umphress

Texas A&M University - Mays Business School ( email )

Wehner 401Q, MS 4353
College Station, TX 77843-4218
United States

Richard G. Gardner

Texas A&M University - Department of Management ( email )

430 Wehner
College Station, TX 77843-4218
United States

Kathi Miner-Rubino

Texas A&M University ( email )

Langford Building A
798 Ross St.
College Station, TX 77843-3137
United States

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