Beyond adherence to justice rules: How and when manager gender contributes to diminished legitimacy in the aftermath of unfair situations. By: Varty, Christianne T.; Barclay, Laurie J.; Brady, Daniel L. Journal of Organizational Behavior. Jul2021, Vol. 42 Issue 6, p767-784. 18p.

Unfair situations are a reality of organizational life. Although managers are typically advised to enact justice (i.e., adhere to justice rules) to mitigate negative employee reactions to unfair situations, the subjective nature of fairness suggests that employees may still react negatively to managers, regardless of managers’ adherence to justice rules. Integrating fairness theory with social role theory, we propose that prescriptive gender stereotypes can differentially influence employees’ reactions toward female (versus male) managers in the aftermath of unfair situations. Across two studies, female (versus male) managers were especially likely to experience diminished legitimacy in the aftermath of unfair situations, regardless of their adherence to justice rules. Moreover, these effects were especially likely to emerge for situations that reflected isolated versus ongoing issues. In turn, diminished legitimacy prompted negative employee behaviors that can detract from managerial effectiveness (e.g., withdrawal of manager‐directed citizenship behaviors, enhanced negative gossip about the manager, and increased resistance behaviors). Theoretical and practical contributions include recognizing the importance of broadening focus beyond adherence to justice rules to understand employees’ reactions and managers’ experiences, acknowledging the impact of gender in the context of fairness, and highlighting that upward‐directed gender bias may contribute to the (un)intentional undermining of female managers