Procedural Justice in the Workplace: Definition, Theory & Examples

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  • 0:00 What Is Procedural Justice?
  • 0:50 Procedural Justice Theory
  • 1:30 Procedural Justice Examples
  • 2:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

This lesson will define procedural justice, explain procedural theory in the workplace, and provide examples of procedural justice in a company. Then you can take a brief quiz to assess your understanding.

What Is Procedural Justice?

Procedural justice affects how decisions are made and policies are established. It is based on the premise that the most fair and respectful decision will be made. Procedural justice is also concerned about creating policies and procedures that take all perspectives and concerns into consideration. When a situation cannot be resolved between the parties, and a leader or manager is required to make a ruling, procedural justice suggests that decisions be neutral, based on fact, and appropriate for the actions.

When employees believe problems will be resolved fairly and honestly, they will have more confidence in the decision. This puts a burden on companies to create procedures and policies, which demonstrate procedural justice, meaning the response will be fair and consistent regardless of who is involved in the situation.

Procedural Justice Theory

One of the greatest challenges companies face is ensuring there is equity and fair treatment among all rank of employees, regardless of their background, experience, or perceived value to the business. If a policy is created for a division, that policy needs to apply to everyone in that group. When a policy is developed for the entire company, all employees must be held to the same standard. If the policy is altered for different people, procedural justice is not implemented appropriately.

Likewise, when policies are created, procedural justice needs to be considered. The policy must be fair to everyone in the organization, regardless of race, gender, age, position, education, or training.

Procedural Justice Examples

To further examine procedural justice, let's take a look at a couple of examples. If a company has a strict tardiness policy, with specific punishments if employees are repeatedly late, that policy must apply to every person at every level. If some people are exempt from the rule, procedural justice is not being enacted. Likewise, if every person - executives and managers included - are equally affected by the policies of the company, there is procedural justice.

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