- LAST REVIEWED: 08 May 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 28 July 2015
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0044
- LAST REVIEWED: 08 May 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 28 July 2015
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0044
Organizational justice refers to employee perceptions of fairness in the workplace. These perceptions can be classified into four categories: distributive, procedural, informational, and interactional. Distributive justice reflects perceptions regarding fairness of outcomes, while procedural justice reflects perceptions of processes that lead to these outcomes. A third type of justice, informational justice, relates to the accounts provided for justice-related events. Finally, interpersonal justice reflects perceptions of interpersonal interactions and treatment. Research demonstrates that, although correlated, these specific justice judgments are each predictive of work- and worker-related outcomes. Whereas this classic taxonomy reflects historically relevant theories that sought to identify criteria or decision rules used to determine the fairness of outcomes, procedures, and interpersonal treatment, more contemporary perspectives have cast a broader net. Contemporary justice research examines the reasons employees care about justice (content theories) and the processes that lead to both the formation of fairness perceptions, as well as individuals reactions to perceived injustice (process theories). While the lion’s share of the justice literature to date has focused on the degree to which employees view themselves as fairly treated, more recent theories consider employees’ reactions to the treatment of others. This has also led researchers to consider employees’ reactions to corporate social responsibility (considered a special case of third-party justice perceptions). Finally, justice research has become increasingly multilevel, as research has begun to explore how shared perceptions of justice form within work groups and organizations (justice climate), and has considered how justice perceptions and reactions vary across cultural groups (e.g., organizational and national cultures).
The following articles and books provide general overviews of organizational justice. Brockner 2010 discusses the interactive effects of different justice perceptions within the workplace and the empirical evidence supporting these interactions. Cohen-Charash and Spector 2001 demonstrates meta-analytically that distributive, procedural, and interactional justice are strongly related but not identical. Colquitt, et al. 2001 also examines the distinctions between facets of justice in relation to each other and work-related outcomes. Greenberg and Colquitt 2005 is a handbook that provides a broad overview of justice research. Greenberg and Cropanzano 2001 delves into more specific research topics within the domain of organizational justice. Rupp 2011 also provides a general overview organized around the argument that fairness involves complex perceptual processes involving time, memory, and networks of interactions and experiences. Finally, Cropanzano 2001 discusses research regarding justice and its practical applications in organizations.
Brockner, Joel. 2010. A contemporary look at organizational justice: Multiplying insult times injury. New York: Routledge.
In this work, Brockner presents recent research on the interactive effects of justice in the workplace. Specifically, Brockner examines “outcome favorability” and “process fairness,” which are similar to distributive and procedural justice, respectively.
Cohen-Charash, Yochi, and Paul E. Spector. 2001. The role of justice in organizations: A meta-analysis. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 86.2: 278–321.
This is an overview demonstrating that distributive, procedural, and interactional justice are similar but distinct. Furthermore, these authors demonstrate that justice affects job performance, affective commitment to the organization, and citizenship behaviors.
Colquitt, Jason A., Donald E. Conlon, Michael J. Wesson, Christopher O. L. H. Porter, and K. Yee Ng. 2001. Justice at the millennium: A meta-analytic review of 25 years of organizational justice research. Journal of Applied Psychology 86.3: 425–445.
A meta-analysis of distributive, procedural, interpersonal, and informational justice effects. The results confirm that all four categories of justice are highly related but not identical, as evidenced by their unique impacts on job satisfaction, organizational citizenship behaviors, and withdrawal.
Cropanzano, Russell, ed. 2001. Justice in the workplace. Vol. 2, From theory to practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Edited text that discusses theoretical underpinnings of organizational justice and related topics, including cognition, cross-cultural research, and context. After examining justice theory, the contributing authors examine human resource management in relation to justice.
Greenberg, Jerald, and Jason A. Colquitt, eds. 2005. Handbook of organizational justice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
A comprehensive edited book providing a holistic perspective on organizational justice. The editors begin with a historical perspective on organizational justice and then present chapters by various justice scholars that delve into issues including conceptual distinctions, justice-related processes, and relevant outcomes.
Greenberg, Jerald, and Russell Cropanzano, eds. 2001. Advances in organizational justice. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.
This work is an edited collection that touches on topics including fairness heuristic theory, construct validation, and diversity in relation to justice.
Rupp, Deborah E. 2011. An employee-centered model of organizational justice and social responsibility. Organizational Psychology Review 1:72–94.
Rupp’s paper presents current theories of justice arguing that employee perceptions are informed by personal experiences, the experiences of others, and observations of justice events.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
Purchase an Ebook Version of This Article
Ebooks of the Oxford Bibliographies Online subject articles are available in North America via a number of retailers including Amazon, vitalsource, and more. Simply search on their sites for Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guides and your desired subject article.
If you would like to purchase an eBook article and live outside North America please email email@example.com to express your interest.
- Abnormal Psychology
- Action Research
- Addictive Behavior
- Affective Forecasting
- Allport, Gordon
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Animal Behavior
- Animal Learning
- Anxiety Disorders
- Art and Aesthetics, Psychology of
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) In Adults
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Childre...
- Attraction in Close Relationships
- Attribution Theory
- Authoritarian Personality
- Behavior Therapy, Rational Emotive
- Behavioral Economics
- Behavioral Genetics
- Bereavement and Grief
- Biological Psychology
- Birth Order
- Body Image in Men and Women
- Bystander Effect
- Clinical Neuropsychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Cognitive Consistency Theories
- Cognitive Dissonance Theory
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Communication, Nonverbal Cues and
- Comparative Psychology
- Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
- Coping Processes
- Counseling Psychology
- Critical Thinking
- Cross-Cultural Psychology
- Cultural Psychology
- Death and Dying
- Deceiving and Detecting Deceit
- Defensive Processes
- Depressive Disorders
- Development, Prenatal
- Developmental Psychology (Cognitive)
- Developmental Psychology (Social)
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM...
- Dissociative Disorders
- Drugs and Behavior
- Eating Disorders
- Ecological Psychology
- Educational Settings, Assessment of Thinking in
- Embodiment and Embodied Cognition
- Emerging Adulthood
- Emotional Intelligence
- Environmental Neuroscience and Environmental Psychology
- Ethics in Psychological Practice
- Evolutionary Psychology
- Eyewitness Testimony
- Factor Analysis
- Festinger, Leon
- Five-Factor Model of Personality
- Flynn Effect, The
- Friendships, Children's
- Fundamental Attribution Error/Correspondence Bias
- Gambler's Fallacy
- Game Theory and Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Heuristics and Biases
- History of Psychology
- Human Factors
- Implicit Association Test (IAT)
- Industrial and Organizational Psychology
- Intercultural Psychology
- Intergroup Conflict
- International Classification of Diseases and Related Healt...
- International Psychology
- Interviewing in Forensic Settings
- Intimate Partner Violence, Psychological Perspectives on
- Item Response Theory
- Law, Psychology and
- Learned Helplessness
- Learning versus Performance
- LGBTQ+ Romantic Relationships
- Lie Detection in a Forensic Context
- Life-Span Development
- Locus of Control
- Meaning in Life
- Mechanisms and Processes of Peer Contagion
- Memories, Autobiographical
- Memories, Flashbulb
- Memories, Repressed and Recovered
- Memory, Human
- Memory, Implicit versus Explicit
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
- Moral Development
- Moral Psychology
- Moral Reasoning
- Neuroscience of Associative Learning
- Obsessive-Complusive Disorder (OCD)
- Operant Conditioning
- Optimism and Pessimism
- Organizational Justice
- Parenting Stress
- Path Models
- Peace Psychology
- Perception, Person
- Personality Disorders
- Personality Psychology
- Placebo Effects in Psychology
- Positive Psychology
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Prejudice and Stereotyping
- Prisoner's Dilemma
- Prosocial Behavior
- Prosocial Spending and Well-Being
- Psychology, Political
- Psychophysics, Visual
- Psychotic Disorders
- Reasoning, Counterfactual
- Rehabilitation Psychology
- Religion, Psychology and
- Research Methods
- Risk Taking
- Schizophrenic Disorders
- School Psychology
- Self, Gender and
- Self, Psychology of the
- Self-Regulation in Educational Settings
- Sensation Seeking
- Sex and Gender
- Sexual Minority Parenting
- Sexual Orientation
- Single People
- Skinner, B.F.
- Sleep and Dreaming
- Small Groups
- Social Class and Social Status
- Social Cognition
- Social Neuroscience
- Social Touch and Massage Therapy Research
- Somatoform Disorders
- Sports Psychology
- Stereotype Threat
- Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis
- Teaching of Psychology
- Terror Management Theory
- Testing and Assessment
- Theory of Mind
- Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral
- Thinking Skills in Educational Settings
- Time Perception
- Trait Perspective
- Twin Studies
- Type A Behavior Pattern (Coronary Prone Personality)
- Women and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM...
- Women, Psychology of