Advanced People Management

Distributive Justice at Work?

Distributive Justice at work

Distributive justice in the workplace is about just, fair and an equal distribution of resources in all aspects at work. Distributive justice has to be acknowledged; as a means of how an organisation treats its members in terms of the distribution of benefits and burdens by attaching a standard of fairness with the distributive process.


Distributive justice fundamentally is about the fairness of outcomes based around ideas of equity of both rewards and punishments. When individuals in the workplace attempt to analyse the fairness of a procedure at work, what they are essentially engaging in is an activity that evaluates distributive justice. In theoretical terms this is known as the ‘exchange principle’; an employee evaluates the organisations outputs based on his or her inputs and then compares this exchange to what others in the organisation have received in similar circumstances and situations.


Critically then, if a person spends a great deal of time, resources and effort toward the process then the distributive award or punishment will be highly relevant to that person. If that person then perceives that the reward or punishment received as a result of his or her input is not equal to what another has received in a similar situation then the person could engage in disruptive behavior at work, obviously this is problematic. The bottom line treat your people fairly or else face the consequences, this applies to people at all levels of an organisation.


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