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Management of Organizational Justice

Issue The article deals with the issue that justice in the workplace is important and that effective organizational justice can be achieved by understanding the various perspectives of justice and through implementing them accordingly. It also highlights organizational justice as a critical factor in determining the success of organizations. As employees are the driving force of organizations and have different perceptions of justice, it is essential for organizations to manage organizational justice so that employees will be motivated to contribute positively.

The three principles of justice, distributive, procedural and interactional ensure that managers’ decision making process will become transparent and therefore improve employees’ perceptions of justice. Theoretical perspectives Equity theory relates to employees’ perceptions of inputs to outcomes in relation to that of others. On the contrary, referent cognitions theory implies that a fair procedure leads to a favourable outcome. This theory supports the fair process effect and indicates the importance of managing justice not only on outcomes but also during the process.

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The two factor model mentioned does not take into account individual differences. Different people have different personalities which may affect their responses to work-related situations and thereby define fairness differently. For instance, impulsive individuals are more likely to express their emotions for receiving injustice at work and resort to being defiant (Christine Henle, 2005). This shows the importance of understanding various types of personalities before making decisions accordingly.

Managers need to put themselves in employees’ perspectives to investigate their reactions to various decisions in order to effectively implement organizational justice. As fairness theory further proves the point “that emotions play an important role in reactions to injustice” (Jerald G. , Jason C. ), this demonstrates the importance of managing organizational justice. The author did not recognize that justice perceptions may differ across cultures. According to Hofstede’s culture dimensions theory, individualism and collectivism give rise to different perceptions.

Employees in an individualistic culture tend to prefer equity while those in a collectivistic culture would prefer equality (Bond, 1982). Individualists would expect work-related decisions to be based on individual merit while collectivists would expect it to be the same for all. The expectations of different cultures may influence the perceptions of justice and hence organizational justice should be applied differently to cater to the respective cultures involved. Moreover, different power distance cultures view organizational justice differently.

For instance, the interpersonal factor of interactional justice would be of greater importance to a low power distance culture (Lind, Tyler, 1997). Thus, the fair process effect of procedural justice will be more suitable for low power distance cultures than high ones. Evidence The concept of the components of justice is well valid in the working environment today. Evidence from the article suggests that improving procedures of performance appraisals by giving employees the opportunity to voice out their opinions improved employee satisfaction (Cawley, 1998).

This evidence is likely to be reliable as it is further supported by the instrumental model of procedural justice (Earley & Lind, 1987). Employees’ perceptions of fairness increased when given a voice because employees feel respected when they are heard. Conversely, the evidence may not be entirely relevant as it is only limited to America and thus does not provide a holistic view of procedural justice. The study by Goldman (2003) suggests that the negative impacts of injustice can be somewhat alleviated by maintaining one component of justice. This may not be valid as certain components of justice may weigh higher than another.

For instance, procedural and interactional justice can be more salient in contributing to the employees’ perception of fairness than distributive justice does (Beugre CD, Baron RA. ). This is because distributive justice tends to exert its impact mostly on certain attitudes, such as outcome satisfaction level. This means that even if distributive justice was high and the other two components were low, employees may still feel unfairly treated. Moreover, one component may be more important than another. Blodgett and colleagues (1997) found that distributive justice was effective only when interactional justice was high.

When the latter was low, negative responses to their study were reported regardless of the level of distributive justice. This shows that not all three components of justice have equal importance in all situations and identifying the components with greater influence would be vital for managing it. Assumptions The author only considers the concept and findings of organizational justice in the American context. Thus, the results may not be applicable to other countries or situations as people can have conflicting responses regarding what amounts to a fair decision in different environments.

For instance, the studies conducted in the article are largely based in Western countries. There may be variations to the findings if the studies were conducted for countries in other regions. To illustrate, the article identifies that American managers prefer rewards to be allocated according to equity as Americans tend to pursue individualism. However, Japanese managers may find the equity based reward system to be unfair as Japan has a strong collectivistic culture (McNamara, Thomas E).

There is an underlying assumption made by the author that social-emotional rewards should be equally distributed as employees view themselves as a community. This may not be valid in individualistic countries as such incentives should be awarded based on performance and should be a privilege for those who perform well. Conclusion The article provided a good understanding on how the components of justice can bring about various outcomes. As the perceptions and motivations of employees may differ, this highlights the importance of effectively managing organizational justice in order to avoid situations of injustice.

The impact of culture differences on organizational justice should also be considered to further recognize how different cultures perceive fairness. One should be mindful that the data in the article are largely based on Western countries and thus may not be identical to the findings in other regions. If there were no forms of justice perceptions, injustice would be aplenty. Thus, despite its limitations, organizational justice is still a useful and relevant tool for managers.


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