When Excuses Don't Work: the Persistent Injustice Effect Among Black Managers
Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 154, No. 43, pp. 154-183, 1998
30 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2006
In this paper, we examine the underlying dynamics of the differences between blacks' and whites' responses to social accounts-explanations or excuses for negative actions and events. Across four studies we found that when black respondents observed unjust behaviors toward a hypothetical black victim, social accounts had a weak impact on perceptions of injustice, confirming the presence of what we call the persistent injustice effect. We also found that social accounts have a weaker impact on perceptions of injustice than on disapproval of the harm-doer and posit that the persistent injustice effect results from a combination of in-group identification with the victim and the respondent's personal experiences with injustice. These two factors, we theorize, combine to create greater empathy for the victim.
Keywords: race,black,justice,excuses,social accounts,empathy,diversity
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