International Journal of Selection and Assessment

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Volume 12 Issue 1‐2 (March 2004), Pages 1-205

Justice Expectations and Applicant Perceptions (pages 24-38)

Expectations, which are beliefs about a future state of affairs, constitute a basic psychological mechanism that underlies virtually all human behavior. Although expectations serve as a central component in many theories of organizational behavior, they have received limited attention in the organizational justice literature. The goal of this paper is to introduce the concept of justice expectations and explore its implications for understanding applicant perceptions. To conceptualize justice expectations, we draw on research on expectations conducted in multiple disciplines. We discuss the three sources of expectations – direct experience, indirect influences, and other beliefs – and use this typology to identify the likely antecedents of justice expectations in selection contexts. We also discuss the impact of expectations on attitudes, cognitions, and behaviors, focusing specifically on outcomes tied to selection environments. Finally, we explore the theoretical implications of incorporating expectations into research on applicant perceptions and discuss the practical significance of justice expectations in selection contexts.

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