chapter  17
19 Pages

Trust in the Manager as a Supervisor or a Group Leader? Toward a Relational Versus Collective Distinction in Procedural Justice: Ya-Ru Chen, Guozhen Zhao, and Jean Lee


We organize our chapter as follows: We begin by providing a short review of the major theories and findings in the procedural justice research and literature. After that, we draw attention to the dominant dyadic (relational) focus in the procedural justice research, despite the centrality of social institutions or collectives to the very notion of justice (Rawls, 1999). To illustrate the critical distinction between justice at an interpersonal/relational level and justice at a collective/group level, we then discuss the differences in the main findings on the dependent variable of supervisor evaluation versus the dependent variable of leader evaluation from Chen and Brewer’s (2010) recent study. As Chen and Brewer (2010) argue, people take on different cognitive and psychological frames and standards when they are asked to evaluate their manager as a supervisor (at a relational level) or a leader (at a group/ collective level). In testing such a distinction, they also simultaneously examined whether leadership is fundamentally a collective/group notion (Van Knippenberg & Hogg, 2003; Yukl, 2002), or a relational/ dyadic notion in people’s cognition (Graen & Scandura, 1987; Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995; Schriesheim, Castro, & Cogliser, 1999). Finally, we suggest theoretical implications from our discussion to literatures in procedural justice and leadership.