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A multilevel examination of the antecedents of procedural, distributive, and restorative justice expectations and related outcomes in the context of strong preferential selection in South Africa.

Ramsay, Lauren Jill
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) Dissertation. Michigan State University.

This quasi-experimental study expands our understanding of justice theory dimensions and their antecedents and outcomes by examining attitudes and experiences in a sample of potential job applicants in South Africa. This work extends existing four-dimension justice theory by proposing and validating a fifth dimension of justice–restorative justice. South African workplaces operate under labour law that specifies strong preferential selection to promote the hiring of individuals from previously disadvantaged groups. The current study uses this existing selection context as a naturally occurring manipulation of strong preferential treatment in selection to empirically test a multilevel model of justice expectation antecedents, the dimensions of justice expectations, and related outcomes.

Results of this study indicate that restorative justice as a distinct justice dimension beyond procedural, distributive, interpersonal, and informational dimensions, is supported. Further, three group-level constructs–group belief in white guilt, group culture of support for affirmative action, and group expectation of restorative justice–were examined. Group-level means on these constructs contributed through cross-level effects in building individual justice expectations. A variety of individual-level antecedents of justice expectations were also examined, with social influence regarding unfairness and African centrality being shown to have important roles here. Outcomes of interest included intention to withdraw from the selection process, emigration intention, entrepreneurial intention, and education intention, all of which are of interest in a country seeking to build a strong economy and a stable, working population. Group differences in three of these four outcomes were observed.


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