research@hec - Issue #14 - (Page VIII)
The Just Hand of the Manager
Winner of the 2009 HEC Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Prize
In December 2009, Thierry Nadisic was awarded the 33rd HEC Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Award for his dissertation supervised by Eve Chiapello. Nadisic studied the various actions taken by field managers to offset team members’ feelings of injustice. For reference, behaviors reflecting employees’ feelings or justice or injustice have been widely studied. An employee who receives favorable treatment (i.e., a promotion) from his or her employer reacts with positive behavior toward the organization, but employees who receive fair treatment (favorable or not) display more positive behaviors over longer periods of time.
HEC Paris trains business research professors to work in the world’s best universities and business schools. Thierry Nadisic’s doctoral dissertation, “La main juste des research accomplishments of HEC Paris doctoral students as well. manageurs—les stratégies visibles et invisibles de justice corrective des manageurs et leurs antécédents” (The Fair Hand of the Manager—Visible and Invisible Strategies for Corrective Justice Among Managers and their Antecedents) illustrates the strong
Thierry Nadisic is a professor of organizational behavior at EM Lyon. He holds a PhD in organizational behavior from HEC Paris, a Master’s degree in organizational science from the University of Paris-Dauphine, and the French agrégation (acquired through a competitive national exam) in economics and management. Nadisic’s research, writing, and teaching focus primarily on employees’ feelings of justice and injustice. He is preparing a book with Russel Cropanzano and Jordan H. Stein entitled Social Justice and the Experience of Emotions, forthcoming in November 2010, Routledge Academic.
JUSTICE, INJUSTICE, & THE CHURCHILL EFFECT Nadisic’s innovative question was the following. “How do managers correct organizational injustices experienced by their subordinates, and what factors drive this corrective behavior?” Previous research has shown that interactional justice demonstrated by a manager has a corrective effect on other types of organizational injustice. Nadisic wanted to find out why managers display little interactionally just behavior. Indeed, when they have to implement a decision that has a negative impact on people, they often fail to show respect, attention, availability, sensitivity, and openness, even though such behaviors help to compensate for the damaging effects of such decisions. This phenomenon is known as the “Churchill Effect”,
and in his study, Nadisic identified factors that make it predictable.
MORAL VS. JUST—THE ROBIN HOOD STRATEGY Further, the study highlights the advantages of corrective managerial strategies like “invisible remedies.” This refers to company benefits (i.e., bonuses, training) that are diverted from their original purpose and used to offset employees’ feelings of injustice. In such cases, managers inform neither the hierarchy nor other employees of these “under-the-counter” benefits, so to speak. Nadisic has developed a conceptual model of this “Robin Hood strategy”, drawing on literature on justice in organizational remedies as well as sociological literature on organizational theft. He discusses, for example, the types of injustice likely to motivate managers to deploy invisible remedies, and to the role of a manager’s moral sense in his or her tendency to apply this strategy.
In conclusion, while managers show little tendency to correct injustice via visible acts of interactional justice, they sometimes do so through less visible means. A manager’s social identity is a determining factor in his or her behavior. Strong identification with the company makes managers less likely to correct injustice, while a strong moral identity makes acts of corrective justice quite likely. I
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of research@hec - Issue #14
Cover & Contents
- Strategic Innovation is Accessible to All
- Auctioned IPOs : Breaking Underwriter Dominance
- The Independence and Competence of Auditors
- The Just Hand of theManager
research@hec - Issue #14