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Treat Us Fairly and We Won’t Complain: Multilevel Effects of Procedural Justice on Complaining Behavior in Team Meetings

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DOI: 10.4236/psych.2015.614176    2,915 Downloads   3,540 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

One reason for ineffective meetings is complaining behavior. Complaining statements emphasize negative aspects which cannot be changed and often portraying the team as a victim. Whereas several studies have highlighted the detrimental consequences of complaining, less is known about the antecedents of this counterproductive behavior during team interactions. This study addresses this research gap by providing starting points for managing complaining behavior in meetings. Through the lens of social exchange theory, we argue how individual justice perceptions and team-level justice climate create a social context for more or less complaining during meetings. Furthermore, we explore how team members’ satisfaction with their supervisor mediates the relationship between procedural justice and complaining. 305 employees nested in 54 teams completed a survey concerning their justice perceptions and supervisor satisfaction. Moreover, we videotaped regular meetings of these teams and used an independent observer approach to code actual occurrences of complaining behavior. Multilevel results show that team-level procedural justice climate—but not individual justice perceptions—inhibits complaining behavior in meetings. Team-level supervisor satisfaction mediated the relationship between procedural justice climate and complaining. We discuss research implications for understanding and preventing specific counterproductive work behaviors in the team context and practical implications for managing effective meetings.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Schulte, E. , Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. and Kauffeld, S. (2015) Treat Us Fairly and We Won’t Complain: Multilevel Effects of Procedural Justice on Complaining Behavior in Team Meetings. Psychology, 6, 1795-1810. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.614176.

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