A Rejection Threshold in Justice Evaluations: Effects on Judgment and Decision-Making

Stephen W. Gilliland, Lehman Benson, Donald H. Schepers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This research examined the process through which justice evaluations are formed. Using image theory's screening process we hypothesized that a rejection threshold exists with regard to violations of just treatment (e.g., laying off an employee without notice). If the number of violations exceeds the decision-maker's threshold, a negative justice evaluation results. Nonviolations (e.g., providing laid-off employees with a generous severance package) were hypothesized to only influence justice evaluations when violations do not exceed the threshold. Three studies compared the impact of justice violations and nonviolations on fairness evaluations. We also examined differences in fairness evaluations operationalized as judgments vs decisions. Results indicated that when makingjudgmentsabout fairness, both violations and nonviolations are equally important. However, when one has todecideon a course of action based on considerations of fairness, nonviolations are only considered if fewer than three violations have been encountered. These results identify important distinctions between judgment and decisions and have implication for research examining outcomes of justice evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-131
Number of pages19
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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