How can employees’ perceptions of fairness simultaneously fuel both personalized and depersonalized leader-member relations? In a recent article published in Group & Organization, entitled “Personalized and Depersonalized Responses to Leaders’ Fair Treatment: Status Judgments and Leader-Member Exchange as Mediating Mechanisms,” author Amer A. Al-Atwi explores two psychological mechanisms through which the leader’s fair treatment encourages followers to define themselves in terms of a given role and group membership relationships. The abstract for the article:
By extracting insights from leader–member exchange (LMX) theory and social identity theory, this study predicted that a leader’s interactional justice is associated with followers’ multifoci identification by personalized and depersonalized mediating mechanisms. Specifically, we hypothesized that a leader’s interactional justice affects (a) followers’ relational identification via the LMX as a personalized response and (b) followers’ work-group identification via status judgments (pride and respect) as a depersonalized response. The study’s constructs were measured on three separate occasions over an interval of 4 months, using data from a sample of 322 employees at a large public university. As predicted, we found that (a) LMX mediates the relationship between interactional justice and relational identification and (b) status judgments (pride and respect) mediate the relationships between interactional justice and work-group identification. Theoretical and practical implications for these findings are discussed.
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