Gender Effects in Injustice Perceptions: An Experiment on Error Evaluation and Effort Provision

  • Lucia Marchegiani
  • Tommaso Reggiani
  • Matteo Rizzolli
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


As performances are rarely observable, evaluation errors may occur. We observe how women react to evaluation errors and wrongful reward assessment in organizations. In particular, we focus on severity and leniency errors in the evaluation of performances. Severity errors occur when workers do not receive the reward although they exerted high effort and reached the target. Leniency errors occur when workers are rewarded even when they exerted low effort and did not reach the target. They are both detrimental to motivation and effort provision. Our findings from a laboratory experiment show that, when gender is considered, asymmetric results are shown for men and women. Whereas males drop their contribution more under severity errors rather than leniency errors, female tend to do the opposite. We discuss these results contributing to the literature on organizational justice by investigating the role of gender in the perception of justice within organizations.


Injustice Performance appraisal Gender Leniency bias Severity bias Economic experiment 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lucia Marchegiani
    • 1
  • Tommaso Reggiani
    • 2
    • 3
  • Matteo Rizzolli
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Business StudiesRoma Tre UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Public EconomicsMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  3. 3.IZA Institute of Labor EconomicsBonnGermany
  4. 4.Department of Social SciencesLUMSA UniversityRomeItaly

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