Fairness in hierarchical and entrepreneurial firms

Journal of Business Ethics 11 (11):877-882 (1992)
Discussions of fairness in the workplace are built on assumptions about the organization of work and about fairness. Writers on business ethics have not appreciated that work is often organized differently in different stages of the life cycle of a firm. In this paper it is argued that the conceptions of fairness applied to a mature firm are often not applicable to a fledgling one. In a mature firm authority and responsibility are typically delegated and divided into specific jobs with relatively rigid boundaries. Thus, it has been argued that fairness in hiring requires specific job descriptions, fairness in remuneration requires standardized and graded salaries, and fairness in due process requires peer review. However, in the formative stages of a corporation, there may be very little differentiation or specialization. There is a continual re-definition of individual tasks through interaction with others as knowledge about products, production, and consumer demand are acquired by trial and error in the marketplace. Fairness takes a different form in this firm. The principle that similar people are to be treated similarly and different people differently can be operationalized in two ways. The mature firm typically focuses on differences; a fledgling, entrepreneurial one on similarities. How some of the issues of fairness in hiring, pay, and due process need to be reformulated once they are placed within the context of an entrepreneurial firm with its emphasis on similarity are then discussed.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00872368
 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: 23,201
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
Patricia Werhane (1988). Persons, Rights, and Corporations. Journal of Business Ethics 7 (5):336-340.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

10 ( #412,673 of 1,940,955 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #457,798 of 1,940,955 )

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.