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Organizational Justice: Definition and Relevance to Organizational Behavior

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Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo

Jennifer Lombardo received both her undergraduate degree and MBA in marketing from Rowan University. She spent ten years in consumer marketing for companies such as Nielsen Marketing Research, The Dial Corporation and Mattel Toys. She is currently an adjunct professor of marketing at Rowan University and a social media marketing consultant.

Organizational justice, or employees' perceived fairness of their workplace, can result in a respectful and productive work environment. Learn the definition of organizational justice and the three types thereof as they relate to organizational behavior. Updated: 09/18/2021

Organizational Justice

Have you ever been part of a work situation where you thought you were treated unfairly? If so, did it have an impact on your work or morale? Employees want to work for fair and ethical companies and be treated with respect. Organizational justice concerns employees' perceptions of fairness within a company. Distributive, procedural, and interactional are the three types of organizational justice that companies must embrace in order to have happy and productive employees. Let's take a look at the Cheap Plastic Toys Company to see how organizational justice is relevant to organizational behavior.

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  • 0:05 Organizational Justice
  • 0:46 Distributive Justice
  • 1:21 Procedural Justice
  • 1:57 Interactional Justice
  • 3:16 Results of Justice
  • 3:35 Lesson Summary
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Distributive Justice

Distributive justice deals with the employees' concerns of the fairness of outcomes they receive. One of the biggest reasons for issues with employee productivity or morale is when employees feel that their company lacks fairness. For example, Sarah has worked at Cheap Plastic Toys for over a year. She has just found out that she will be receiving only a 1% raise this year. She does not feel that this is a fair outcome. Organizations can provide equal distributive justice by educating, communicating, and enacting fair employment practices with the organization.

Procedural Justice

Another type of organizational justice is called procedural. Procedural justice is concerned with how employees view the fairness of the process of how outcomes are decided. Thomas has issues with how Cheap Plastic Toys provides overtime to their employees. He feels that they lack procedural justice because they do not provide enough advance notice for the scheduling of shifts. The company can easily rectify this issue by responding to Thomas' feedback and improving their overtime scheduling notice.

Interactional Justice

Let's look at the third type of organizational justice. Our first example mentioned how unhappy Sarah was with the 1% raise she was receiving this year. There was also a lack of interactional justice in Sarah's case. Interactional justice deals with how explanations are communicated as well as the fair treatment of or sensitivity towards employees. Interpersonal and informational are the two types of interactional justice. Interpersonal justice looks at sensitivity and fairness in how information is communicated to an employee. Informational justice relates to the quality of the explanation that is given to employees explaining why a specific outcome happened.

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