|M.Sc Student||Moriah Hadar|
|Subject||When Explanations Backfire: a Field Experiment on the|
Influence of Explanations on Justice and
Aggression in the Emergency-Room
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Anat Rafaeli|
|Full Thesis text|
An experimental field study, conducted in the emergency-room of a large hospital, tested the influence of waiting and of informational justice, on aggression and perceived procedural and interpersonal justice. The sample comprised 328 patients and escorts, half of which received an explanation of emergency-room policies designed to enhance informational justice regarding the length of the wait in the emergency-room. The relationship between waiting and aggression was mediated by procedural justice perceptions: the longer people waited the less they perceived procedures to be just, which in turn lead to elevated levels of aggression towards hospital staff. Receiving explanatory information enhanced informational as well as procedural justice perceptions. However, receiving information also moderated the direct effect of waiting on aggression, leading to higher levels of aggression in cases of prolonged waiting. Unlike procedural justice, interpersonal justice perceptions were not influenced by the length of the wait, or by explanatory information, and did not significantly influence aggression. These findings demonstrate that enhancing informational justice by providing explanatory information does not always result in beneficial outcomes, but may also backfire and lead to higher levels of aggression compared to situations where no information is provided. The possible role of unmet expectations in the context of an ongoing interaction with the organization is discussed. The results also provide further support for the theoretical distinction between procedural, interpersonal and informational justice.