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It's good to talk: examining the effectiveness of talking as a victim-centred recovery from organizational injustice

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The experience of injustice is a ubiquitous reality of organizational life. Whilst extensive research has focused on the "dark side" of individual reactions to an injustice (such as retaliation, sabotage, theft), there has been a paucity of research examining reactions that do not culminate in negative implications for the individual or the organization. This paper seeks to fill this gap by introducing a model of talking as a victim-centered intervention, and asserting propositions that explain the chain of events leading from the perception of a workplace injustice through to the outcomes that this phenomenon affords victims, assisting them with recovery from the effects of an injustice. Nesting the talking phenomenon within a theoretical paradigm that draws on dissonance theory and attachment theory respectively, it is argued that a workplace injustice triggers a state of cognitive and emotional dissonance which in turn activates the search for an attachment figure (a significant, supportive other) with whom social contact is sought, followed by talking. It is argued that two components of talk, namely emotion and cognition, lead to separate socio- affective and meaning related outcomes; together, they lead to recovery which is the alleviation of the memory of a negative experience, as well as a sense of closure for the victim and reduced retaliatory intentions. This paper seeks to give voice to the victims of injustice by proposing that victims can take an active and constructive role in their recovery, which does not accrue costs for themselves or their workplace.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/43106/

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