ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2010, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (6): 948-954.

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Referent Selection in Justice Studies

ZHOU Hao;LONG Li-Rong   

  1. (1 School of Business Administration, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China)
    (2 School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China)
  • Received:2009-10-21 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2010-06-15 Published:2010-06-15
  • Contact: ZHOU Hao

Abstract: Based on Adam’s equity theory, it can be referred that employees’ perception of justice is mainly depended on whom they compare with. Therefore, the referent selection is critical to understand the mechanism of justice formation. This review firstly made a brief introduction to the classification of referent and its characteristics, and discussed the stability of referent selection. And then, individual and situational factors that influence referent selection, such as demography, motivation, cognition and environment, were introduced. Finally, the limitations of previous studies were analyzed and future research orientations were given. It was suggested that in previous questionnaire studies, priming effect would exist and therefore misguiding the actual psychological process of referent selection. As the result, qualitative method would be a better way to understand and analyze referent selection. And it would be valuable to discuss the topic that Chinese employees prefer to compare with referent group rather than referent individual.

Key words: justice, social comparison, referent