Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Learning Module
Organizational Justice
Think of a time you’ve been
unfairly treated at work
Were you ever treated rudely or
Were you up for a promotion / raise / job,
and didn’t get it when you thought you
should have?
Why was it unfair? How did you know?
How did you react? Did you take action?
Why or why not?
Lesson Objectives
At the end of this lesson, you should be
able to:
 State
why managing perceptions of justice
is important to organizations
 Distinguish between three different
elements of justice perceptions
 List factors that influence perceptions of
Justice Perceptions are
Justice Perceptions: employee judgments
about whether their work situation is fair
Justice Perceptions in organizations have
been found to be related to:
 Job
 Organizational Commitment
 Job Performance
 Withdrawal Behaviors
 Counterproductive behaviors
 Self-perceptions
Types of Justice Perceptions
Distributive Justice: perceptions of the
fairness of a particular outcome
Procedural Justice: perceptions of
whether the process used to make the
decision was fair
Interactional Justice: perceptions of
whether organizational agents implement
procedures fairly, by treating people
respectfully and explaining decisions
Distributive Justice
Rules for allocating resources
– resources are distributed to
employees with respect to their abilities or
 Equality – resources are distributed so
each person gets the same outcome,
regardless of their contributions
 Need – resources are distributed to the
person who needs them more
 Equity
Distributive Justice: Equity
Employees compute a ratio of how much
they contribute to the organization and how
much they get back from the company
Employees choose a coworker and
computes their ratio
Employees then compare ratios, and react
on the basis of this comparison.
Unbalanced ratios create ‘equity distress,’
which lead to a variety of responses
including changes in work effort or quality
Procedural Justice
What are some things that lead to a
procedure being seen as fair?
 ‘Voice’
– getting a say in things
 Consistency
 Bias Suppression
 Accuracy
 Correctability
 Ethicality
When is Procedural Justice
Most Important?
Reactions to Org.
High Procedural Justice
Low Procedural Justice
Outcome Favorability
Interactional Justice
Interpersonal component – treating
people with dignity and respect; refraining
from improper remarks or comments
Informational component – providing
adequate explanations for decisions
Research Example
(Greenberg, 1990)
Two plants in the same company
announced 15% pay cuts for their workers
One plant given extensive explanations &
remorse was shown in the announcement
Second plant given a short explanation, but
without remorse or apology
Measured ‘missing’ inventory  theft
Theft increased in both plants, but more so
in the second plant (inadequate
Improving Fairness
Change how fair the situation actually is
 Improve
distributive justice
 Improve procedural justice
 Treat employees with sincerity and respect
Change how fair the situation is perceived
 How
do you explain decisions and
procedures to employees so they
Employee perceptions of justice can impact
important organizational outcomes, as well
as employee feelings and attitudes
Types of justice include Distributive,
Procedural, and Interactional
Justice perceptions can be altered by
actually changing the justice of a situation,
or by providing adequate explanations for
organizational events

SIOP-Industrial-Organizational Psychology Learning Segment