Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Wayne Harrison

Second Advisor

James Thomas

Third Advisor

C. Raymond Millimet


The present study was designed as a partial test of the model of social accounts by Folger and Cropanzano (1998). Organizational justice researchers have shown that social accounts are effective in reducing negative reactions and displacing blame from the decision-maker following a harmful decision. Using a 2 x 3 completely randomized design, the study examined the effects of outcome severity and media choice on four types of fairness perceptions, medium appropriateness, anger, and turnover intentions. A temporary pay cut scenario was used to manipulate two levels of outcome severity, and the company president provided an explanation of the pay cut using three different media. It was hypothesized that fairness perceptions, anger, and turnover intentions would be most favorable in the low outcome severity conditions and when the social account was delivered through a medium high in media richness. It was also believed that outcome severity and media choice would interact such that the effect of media on the dependent variables would be more pronounced under high outcome severity conditions. One hundred and thirty-two undergraduate students participated in the scenario-based study. Each participant received a brief scenario that stated the president of the company for whom they worked had decided to implement a 10-week pay cut for all employees. A scenario gave detailed information on how the pay cut would affect their weekly net pay.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Masters of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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