THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE SYMBOLIC MEANING OF MONEY AND REFERENT CHOICE UNDER SITUATIONS OF INEQUITY

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2005-11-30

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Although research on equity theory has waned, understanding the influence of different referent groups remains an important unanswered question in the justice literature (Greenberg, 2003). This study proposes to increase understanding of the referent selection process in two ways. One is by applying a theory explicitly focused on pay, the reflective theory of pay (Thierry, 1998). In addition, the current research will employ policy-capturing to effectively capture the relative influence of different referent groups (Bordia & Blau, 2003; Law & Wong, 1998). Results indicated that perceptions of the internal referent group showed the strongest relationship with pay satisfaction. In addition, there was evidence that equity sensitivity and the control and spending meanings of pay moderated the relationship between the external referent group and pay satisfaction.

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