Hypocrisies of fairness: Towards a more reflexive ethical base in organizational justice research and practice [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 78 (3):415 - 433 (2008)
Despite becoming one of the most active research areas in organizational behavior, the field of organizational justice has stayed at a safe distance from moral questions of values, as well as from critical questions regarding the implications of fairness considerations on the status quo of power relations in today’s organizations. We argue that both organizational justice research and the managerial practices it informs lack reflexivity. This manifests itself in two possible hypocrisies of fairness. Managers may apply organizational justice knowledge but fail to increase the actual levels of fairness in employment relations. Researchers, on the other hand, may claim to promote fairness through their work while actually providing managers with tools that enable or even encourage them to feed the hypocrisy of fairness identified above. As␣part of our argument, we identify three types of mechanisms managers may use to influence and manage the formation of fairness perceptions. We consider how the exercise of power is related to the potential application of organizational justice knowledge across individual, interpersonal and social levels. Our approach makes power dynamics and moral implications salient, and questions the purely subjectivist view of justice researchers that deliberately discards normative aspects. The questions opened up by considering alternative mechanisms for creating fairness perceptions have led us to formulate a research agenda for organizational justice research that takes multiple stakeholder interests, power dynamics and ethical implications into account. We believe that the fields of organizational justice and normative justice can benefit from combined research.
Keywords fairness  justice  managerialist research  organizational behavior  power
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/25075620
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
William J. Graham & William H. Cooper (2013). Taking Credit. Journal of Business Ethics 115 (2):403-425.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Christian Kiewitz (2005). Organizational Justice. Business Ethics Quarterly 15 (1):67-91.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

27 ( #114,246 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #74,830 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.