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The toll of perceived injustice on job search self-efficacy and behavior

The toll of perceived injustice on job search self-efficacy and behavior Purpose– Individuals normally make fairness judgements when experiencing negative outcomes on an important task, such as finding employment. Fairness is an affect-laden subjective experience. Perceptions of injustice can cause resource depletion in unemployed job seekers, potentially leading to reduced self-regulation. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of: first, justice perceptions during a job search and their impact on job search self-efficacy (JSSE); second, the mediating role of JSSE between justice perceptions and job search strategies; and third, associations between job search strategies and quantity and quality of job search behavior. Design/methodology/approach– Unemployed individuals (n=254) who were actively searching for a job reported on their past job search experiences with respect to justice, completed measures of JSSE, and reported recent job search behavior. Findings– Results reveal the potentially harmful impact of perceived injustice on job search strategies and the mediating role of JSSE, a self-regulatory construct and an important resource when looking for a job. Specifically, perceived injustice is negatively associated with JSSE. Reduced JSSE is associated with a haphazard job search strategy and less likelihood of exploratory and focussed strategies. A haphazard job search strategy is associated with making fewer job applications and poor decision making. Conversely, perceived justice is associated with higher JSSE and exploratory and focussed job search strategies. These two strategies are generally associated with higher quality job search behavior. Research limitations/implications– There are two major limitations. First, while grounded in social-cognitive theory of self-regulation and conservation of resources (COR) theory, a cross-sectional research design limits determination of causality in the model of JSSE as a central social-cognitive mechanism explaining how justice impacts job search strategies. Second, some results may be conservative because social desirability may have restricted the range of negative responses. Practical implications– This study provides insights to individuals who are supporting job seekers (e.g. career counselors, coaches, employers, and social networks). Specifically, interventions aimed at reducing perceptions of injustice, increasing JSSE, and improving job search strategies and behavior may ameliorate the damaging impact of perceived injustice. Originality/value– This study is the first to examine perceived justice in the job search process using social-cognitive theory of self-regulation and COR theory. Moreover, we provide further validation to a relatively new and under-researched job search strategy typology by linking the strategies to the quantity and quality of job search behaviors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Career Development International Emerald Publishing

The toll of perceived injustice on job search self-efficacy and behavior

Career Development International , Volume 21 (3): 20 – Jun 13, 2016

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References (95)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1362-0436
DOI
10.1108/CDI-10-2015-0139
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– Individuals normally make fairness judgements when experiencing negative outcomes on an important task, such as finding employment. Fairness is an affect-laden subjective experience. Perceptions of injustice can cause resource depletion in unemployed job seekers, potentially leading to reduced self-regulation. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of: first, justice perceptions during a job search and their impact on job search self-efficacy (JSSE); second, the mediating role of JSSE between justice perceptions and job search strategies; and third, associations between job search strategies and quantity and quality of job search behavior. Design/methodology/approach– Unemployed individuals (n=254) who were actively searching for a job reported on their past job search experiences with respect to justice, completed measures of JSSE, and reported recent job search behavior. Findings– Results reveal the potentially harmful impact of perceived injustice on job search strategies and the mediating role of JSSE, a self-regulatory construct and an important resource when looking for a job. Specifically, perceived injustice is negatively associated with JSSE. Reduced JSSE is associated with a haphazard job search strategy and less likelihood of exploratory and focussed strategies. A haphazard job search strategy is associated with making fewer job applications and poor decision making. Conversely, perceived justice is associated with higher JSSE and exploratory and focussed job search strategies. These two strategies are generally associated with higher quality job search behavior. Research limitations/implications– There are two major limitations. First, while grounded in social-cognitive theory of self-regulation and conservation of resources (COR) theory, a cross-sectional research design limits determination of causality in the model of JSSE as a central social-cognitive mechanism explaining how justice impacts job search strategies. Second, some results may be conservative because social desirability may have restricted the range of negative responses. Practical implications– This study provides insights to individuals who are supporting job seekers (e.g. career counselors, coaches, employers, and social networks). Specifically, interventions aimed at reducing perceptions of injustice, increasing JSSE, and improving job search strategies and behavior may ameliorate the damaging impact of perceived injustice. Originality/value– This study is the first to examine perceived justice in the job search process using social-cognitive theory of self-regulation and COR theory. Moreover, we provide further validation to a relatively new and under-researched job search strategy typology by linking the strategies to the quantity and quality of job search behaviors.

Journal

Career Development InternationalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 13, 2016

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