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Employee’s Loyalty to Workplace Damaged by Unfair Treatment

26 August 2009 Wiley

In organizational settings, managers as well as others in leadership roles should perhaps think twice before ridiculing subordinate employees on their choice of lunch, attire, or habits, or generally acting disrespectfully towards them. Recent research from the Journal of Management Studies shows that when an employee believes that he or she has been treated unfairly, the employee is not likely to forgive and forget.

The research, headed by Michael S. Cole, PhD at the Texas Christian University, tracks the downward spiral process which is triggered when an employee experiences perceived injustices at the work. Such events create a major stressor which may potentially lead to damaged psychological well being and extreme emotional exhaustion, which directly affect a worker’s ability to cope with workload demands and performance-related expectations.

These individuals are also likely to feel singled out within their work environment and may start to feel unhappy about their jobs as a whole, leading to a change in job-related attitudes and behavior. This in turn leads to a general depletion in their sense of commitment to the organization, and in the worst-case scenario, an increased risk of voluntary termination and high turnover within organizations.

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