This article investigates the impact of collective user participation in specifying requirements of an information system. The objectives of this study are to (1) examine the attitudinal and behavioral reactions of group members in the voting minority when a majority‐rule social decision scheme is used to determine decision outcomes, and (2) test the efficacy of two intervention techniques—justification and likelihood of amelioration—designed to minimize differences between voting minority and majority subgroups. In this study, referent cognition theory (RCT) is introduced into the accounting literature and, for the first time, RCT propositions are applied to social decision scheme research.

Study findings indicate that, when compared to the voting majority, the minority subgroup recorded lower levels of process fairness, outcome fairness, outcome satisfaction, and actual task performance. Two attempts were made to minimize differences between minority and majority voting subgroups. Although the two intervention techniques (justification and likelihood of amelioration) independently improved minority members' perceptions and performance, the greatest improvement was observed when the treatments were jointly manipulated. However, the highest levels of perceived fairness, satisfaction and task performance of minority members remained significantly below those of majority members.

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