Advanced People Management

The importance of fairness at Work

Organisational Justice is an important construct in predicting organisational outcomes within certain situations. For example fairness at work has been found to be an important predictor of an employee’s commitment at work, the amount of discretionary effort an employee puts in at work, the acceptance of organisational policies and procedures and the likelihood of an employee staying in a particular job. However what does not exist is a deep understanding of what employees consider in evaluating fairness in the workplace and without this HR managers will always be at a loss in designing interventions that catch the positive efficiency benefits of organisational justice.

At Advanced People Management our experience has shown us that people at work accept outcomes that were less than what they originally wanted because they regarded the organisational process that led to those outcomes as fair. Conceptualise it this way; organisations for people at work are sources of money and other material benefits and then link it to a socialisation theory (any will do, and there are loads): this then leads to an identity-relevant judgement on the part of the employee at work. In less technical language, when employees experience fairness at work, they feel good about themselves and the organisation they work for. The socialising effects of fairness at work communicates to the employee that the group (the wider organisation) values them and this makes them feel good about being part of the group. Fairness at work is evaluated in relational-terms; employees’ personal identity at work is shaped by the social identity (the organisational identity).

Procedures at work then become sources of information that employees use to evaluate one’s status within the group as well as the status of the group. Research has demonstrated that if an organisation uses fair and transparent methods in the employment relationship and these methods are clearly visible and experienced by the employees of the organisation then this will encourage organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB). However if employees experience unfair treatment at work this will encourage organisational retaliatory behaviour (ORB) because employees often react to a perceived sense of injustice in the workplace in a negative way.

At Advanced People Management organisational justice is our thing, drop us a line and we will be more than happy to demonstrate to your organisation the benefits of promoting justice and fairness in the workplace.


Advanced People Management; a cost-effective method of advising, supporting and enabling a just, fair and equitable working environment.




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