2017WUESTMPhD.pdf (2.26 MB)
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Corrective Justice: Staff dishonesty as a response to perceived unfair change in the workplace

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posted on 02.05.2017, 15:22 authored by Michael Wuest
A core issue in criminology is to examine why humans engage in dishonest acts. The subject of this study is an examination of a situational motivation to offend which is detached from opportunity, thus having a focus on intrinsic situational offender motivation. This study hypothesises that employees who perceive their employer of treating staff unfairly hold more tolerant attitudes towards staff dishonesty. Consequently, this hypothesis implies that staff dishonesty can become an employee’s perceived justified means to even the score against an employer who is perceived of acting unfairly, which is referred to as corrective justice in this thesis. The thesis begins with an examination of the core concepts, staff dishonesty and injustice perceptions. With reference to staff dishonesty, property deviance, production deviance and the willingness to engage in whistle-blowing are focussed on. In order to conceptualise injustice perceptions of employees, this thesis will derive the dimensions of distributive injustice, procedural injustice and interactional injustice from the literature and conceptualise a further dimension of moral injustice. With the aim to test the research hypothesis, a self-completion online questionnaire was published in a large European company in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector - and answered by 463 respondents in the research setting. The first half of the questionnaire items measured perceptions of unfair treatment in the four injustice dimensions, while the second half of the questionnaire measured tolerance levels towards staff dishonesty. The findings of the subsequent statistical analysis show that up to 11.8 % of rises in tolerant attitudes towards staff dishonesty result from perceived unfair treatment in the course of reorganisations. This proven existence of a corrective justice effect is finally discussed with reference to its implications for business and criminological theory.



Beck, Adrian; Jones, Hillary

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Department of Criminology

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University of Leicester

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