Turning defiance into compliance with procedural justice: Understanding reactions to regulatory encounters through motivational posturing

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Murphy, Kristina
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2016
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Abstract

This paper uses Braithwaite's motivational posturing framework to explain how individuals react to encounters with regulatory authorities. Of interest is whether procedural justice can reduce defiance and improve self-reported compliance among individuals who are either resistant or dismissive of regulatory authority. Using longitudinal survey data collected from tax offenders (Study 1), and individuals who had a recent police-citizen interaction (Study 2), it will be shown that procedural justice can promote compliance behavior. Procedural justice is also found to be effective for reducing resistant forms of defiance over time, but not dismissive defiance. Further, the results reveal that neither resistant defiance nor dismissive defiance moderate the effect of procedural justice on compliance, suggesting procedural justice works equally well for both low and high resisters and low and high disengagers. Finally, an unexpected result reveals that resistance, but not dismissive defiance, mediates the effect of procedural justice on self-reported compliance behavior. The findings have implications for procedural justice research and for the regulation of defiance.

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Regulation & Governance

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Policy and administration

Political science

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