Business organizations are generally considered financial establishments where employees’ motivation is viewed as a quest to gain more money. Such a view of organizations is proposed by the rational model that can be used for aggressive short-term economic development. However, in the long run, the model may be associated with stagnation since there is no understanding of organizational justice.
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What is Organizational Justice?
Prescription vs. Description
The traditional approach to studying justice is prescriptive, which is defining what is just. Organizational justice is descriptive since researchers in this area aim at describing what is perceived to be just and why.
Why Employees Care about Justice
There are three primary reasons why people care about organizational justice. Employees make long-term predictions about their future treatment, develop a sense of belonging, and believe it is a morally appropriate way of treating people.
Three Components of Justice
The components of organizational justice include distributive justice, procedural justice), and interactional justice. Even though the elements are correlated, it is more beneficial to consider them separately.
According to equity theory, people are concerned about what they get relatively to how what they contribute. However, recent research shows that employees care about equality, equity, and need when speaking about distributive justice. Managers are advised to incline towards equity to promote individual motivation and promote equality to build group cohesion.
Procedural justice refers to the means and rules by which rewards are allocated. A just process is consistent, unbiased, relevant, correctable, and ethical. Procedural justice is crucial for maintaining institutional legitimacy.
Interactional justice consists of two parts: informational justice and interpersonal justice. The first part refers to the truthfulness and providing adequate justifications for one’s actions together with apologies if relevant. The second part is about respect and dignity when treating one another.
Working Together: The Three Components of Justice Interact
Maintaining all three components of justice may be a hard task. However, caring at least one aspect of the matter can complement the absence of others.
Impact of Organizational Justice
Justice Builds Trust and Commitment
Organizational justice makes the employees more committed to the company’s goal and promotes trust to managers. There is a range of empirical evidence to confirm the matter.
Justice Improves Job Performance
Justice is associated with greater effectiveness employees discharge their job duties. Increased productivity may be used to cut costs.
Justice Fosters Employee Organizational Citizenship Behaviors
Justice is positively associated with employees’ willingness to perform selfless actions to achieve a goal. However, an organization cannot benefit from the temporary agency’s efforts at procedural justice.
Justice Builds Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
The will to perform altruistic actions often includes helping the customers. Better customer-employee relationships are associated with higher profits.
How to Create Perceptions of Justice
Selection Procedures: Positive Job Candidates
Organizations need to be just while recruiting and selecting candidates to form a positive first impression. While hiring, managers face justice paradox, which is finding tools that have good predictive validity and satisfy justice concerns. The best ways to handle the situation are to look for the right tools, modify the existing tools, or complement the lack of procedural justice with interactional justice.
Reward Systems: Justly Balancing Multiple Goals
Reward system need to motivate group cohesion and individual performance. This can be achieved by carefully managing equality and equity of payments. The shift of balance to either of sides should be supported by interactional justice.
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Conflict Management: You Don’t Have to Win
Arbitration of conflict may be associated with distributive injustice to the conflict parties. However, if supported by either procedural or interactional justice, the consequences are less likely to be harmful.
Layoffs: Softening Hardship
Procedural and interpersonal justice can help to mitigate the adverse effects of layoff. The discharged employees are less likely to file a legal complaint if they fell that their treatment was just. At the same time, people retaining their jobs do not suffer from “survival’s guilt.”
Performance Appraisals: Keeping Score Fairly
While assessing the performance of employees, managers should consider adequate notice, just hearing, and judgment based on evidence. Even though it may be associated with considerable complication, recent research can help the managers to stay updated on the matter.
On the one hand, organizational injustice is associated with lower performance and morale of employees. On the other hand, just culture can increase profits through employees’ commitment and gaining a competitive edge.
Cropanzana, R., Bowen, D., & Gilliland, S. (2007). The management of organizational justice. Academy of Management Perspectives, 21(4), 34-48.