The effects of justice and dispositional attribution on reactions to negative supervisory feedback were examined in two studies. Study 1 showed that criticism delivered with greater interpersonal fairness resulted in more favourable dispositional attributions about the supervisor, more acceptance of the feedback, and more favourable reactions towards the superior and the organization. The beneficial influence of just interpersonal treatment was general across various feedback contexts, although the magnitude varied. Study 2 clarified the causal ordering: just interpersonal treatment reduced negative dispositional attribution, which in turn increased feedback acceptance and improved attitudes towards the supervisor. Study 2 also distinguished the consequences of perceived fairness in the formal procedures applied to forming the feedback, as opposed to interpersonal treatment during its delivery.

K. Leung, S. Su, and Michael Morris
Journal Article
Publication Date
Human Relations

Full Citation

Leung, K., S. Su, and Michael Morris
. “When is criticism not constructive? The roles of fairness perceptions and dispositional attributions in employee acceptance of critical supervisory feedback.”
Human Relations
, (January 01, 2001):