Published: 16 October 2018

Research grant won to investigate the effects of promotions on employee well-being and performance

Congratulations to Surrey Business School’s Dr Sara Ahmed, Neil Anderson and Ana-Cristina Costa, Bradford University who have won a British Academy/Leverhulme research grant award for the proposed project “Longitudinal Assessment of the Effects of Promotions on Employees’ Work Attitudes and Performance”. The grant sum is approximately £10,000, with the proposal garnering very positive reviews.

Promotions are one of the best ways of keeping employees engaged, committed and motivated within an organisation. Naturally, employees may evaluate the fairness or justice of the organisation and its promotion procedures by comparing promotion decisions to their own estimations, and evaluating whether the procedures used to differentiate between employees were fair. Therefore, the management of promotions play a key role in shaping employees’ reactions and future behaviours.

This research project aims to:

  • Examine the impact of promotional justice on employees’ well-being over time
  • Examine the effect of promotional justice on employees’ performance-related outcomes (e.g. job performance, turnover)
  • Assess the moderating role of leader and team member exchange, motivation, and perceived organisational support on the relationship between promotional justice and outcomes.

The project will be informed using live data, by monitoring a selection of real employees actively applying for a promotion. These results will therefore have ecological validity and general application to many organisations by reflecting the actual lingering effects of promotional justice on outcomes; providing significant practical learnings for HR practitioners.

By understanding how employees perceive and react to promotion procedures and outcomes, the project team aim to offer informed solutions around improving selection and promotion processes, as well as mitigating negative effects on employees’ well-being and work-related outcomes, such as the costs associated with employee turnover and filling vacant positions as well as low job performance.

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