Idiosyncratic Deals from a Distributive Justice Perspective: Examining Co-workers’ Voice Behavior
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This study focuses on a third-party perspective of idiosyncratic deals (i-deals). More specifically, we look into the differential judgments co-workers make about i-deals in their work environment, as well as their reactions. Based on equity theory, we examine to what extent the content of the i-deal and the work context (i.e., the functional dependence between co-worker and i-dealer) explain co-worker judgments regarding i-deal fairness in addition to subsequent voice behavior (i.e., complaining and/or requesting compensation). A vignette study with 1988 respondents shows that when i-deals are considered distributively unfair, co-workers try to restore equity through voice behavior, thereby making the i-deal less effective. Furthermore, i-deals spark more distributive injustice perceptions and voice behavior in a highly interdependent work context. Finally, on average, financial bonuses were considered most distributively unfair and, thus, trigger more voice behavior. These results have important implications for i-deal literature as they uncover the criteria that co-workers use to judge i-deals and shape their reactions.