EXPLORING THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ORGANIZATIONAL JUSTICE, COGNITIVE RIGIDITY AND COGNITIVE COMPLEXITY
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This research explored the relationships between organizational justice and cognitive rigidity. The overarching hypothesis of the study stated that being exposed to injustices would lead to a rigid mental set. In addition, cognitive complexity, a personal characteristics variable, was tested as a proposed moderator, while the rumination, affect, and ego-defensiveness were explored as potential mediators of the injustice-rigidity relationship. A controlled experiment and a survey-based study were conducted in order to test these hypothesized relationships. In the laboratory design organizational justice was manipulated, so that approximately one half of the participants were exposed to procedure violations and insults, while the other half received neutral treatment. Survey-based experiment relied on critical incidents, where approximately one half of the participants were asked to write about a time when they faced injustice at work, while the other half was asked to write about their typical work or school day. Overall, the results suggested that experiencing injustice might lead to decreased cognitive rigidity, which is contrary to the original hypothesis. However, these results were only observed in the experimental study, while the survey-based experiment resulted in no significant effects. Exploratory analyses of the moderating and mediating effects also yielded no significant findings. Alternatives to current methodologies are proposed and potential future directions are discussed.