"Structured, rule-bound fairness, known as procedural justice, is a double-edged sword for managers," said Russell E Johnson, an assistant professor of management at Michigan State University.

While beneficial for their employees and the organization, it's an especially draining activity for managers, he said."In fact, we found it had negative effects for managers that spilled over to the next workday," Johnson added. For the study, the researchers surveyed 82 managers twice a day for a few weeks.

Managers who reported mental fatigue from situations involving procedural fairness were less cooperative and socially engaging with other workers the next day.

"Managers who are mentally fatigued are more prone to making mistakes and it is more difficult for them to control deviant or counterproductive impulses," Johnson said.

They just need to create situations in which they are better prepared to cope with the fatigue and overcome it, the study noted. The research appeared in the Journal of Applied Psychology.


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