Does Outcome Favorability Affect Procedural Fairness as a Result of Self-Serving Attributions?


Laura Francis-Gladney, Department of Accounting, State University of New York Institute of Technology, P. O. Box 3050, Utica, NY 13504. E-mail:


In a situation indicating possible pseudo-participation, we examined whether outcome favorability affects perceived procedural fairness and resentment as a result of self-serving attributions for outcomes. Laboratory participants received a production target that was either substantially above (i.e., unfavorable outcome) or substantially below (i.e., favorable outcome) a target they had voiced to a supervisor. As hypothesized, outcome favorability was related to procedural fairness (positively) and resentment (negatively) among participants who lacked persuasive evidence of pseudo-participation. In support of the idea that these effects were a result of self-serving attributions, rather than instrumental concerns, they did not emerge among participants who had persuasive evidence of pseudo-participation.