Messaging organizational change. How regulatory fit relates to openness to change through fairness perceptions

Marta Roczniewska , E. Tory Higgins


Regulatory fit theory predicts that matching a message to individuals' motivational orientation feels right, thereby enhancing fairness perceptions. In two studies we tested whether, through fairness perceptions, regulatory fit relates to greater openness to change, especially when that change has negative consequences for its recipients. Study 1 was a field experiment conducted among primary and middle school teachers who, respectively, expected positive versus negative outcomes from an actual major education change in Poland. We manipulated message framing, describing the prospected change in a promotion-related or prevention-related way. We measured processing fluency, engagement, process fairness, and change openness. Study 2 was a vignette experiment where college graduates assessed their openness to a change in university policy regarding credits for research participation. We randomized change framing (promotion vs. prevention) and outcome (positive vs. negative) between the participants. Supporting the predictions, the decision process regarding the change was perceived as more fair when the message framing matched recipients' regulatory focus. In line with our expectations, perceived fairness was linked with increased openness towards the change especially among individuals who could be hurt by the changes. In both studies, the fairness mechanism was crucial under these circumstances as compared to the competing mechanism of engagement (and fluency in Study 1). 1.
Author Marta Roczniewska (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie)
Marta Roczniewska,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie
, E. Tory Higgins
E. Tory Higgins,,
Journal seriesJournal of Experimental Social Psychology, ISSN 0022-1031, e-ISSN 1096-0465, (N/A 140 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.7
ASJC Classification3207 Social Psychology; 3312 Sociology and Political Science
Languageen angielski
Messaging.pdf 2.17 MB
Oświadczenie_RoczniewskaJESP.pdf 156.18 KB
Score (nominal)140
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.543; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.87 (2) - 2017=3.805 (5)
Citation count*10 (2021-03-08)
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