How do we know when we are treated fairly? Justice rules and fairness judgments


Justice rules are standards that serve as criteria for formulating fairness judgments. Though justice rules play a role in the organizational justice literature, they have seldom been the subject of analysis in their own right. To address this limitation, we first consider three meta-theoretical dualities that are highlighted by justice rules-the distinction between justice versus fairness, indirect versus direct measurement, and normative versus descriptive paradigms. Second, we review existing justice rules and organize them into four types of justice: distributive (e.g., equity, equality), procedural (e.g., voice, consistent treatment), interpersonal (e.g., politeness, respectfulness), and informational (e.g., candor, timeliness). We also emphasize emergent rules that have not received sufficient research attention. Third, we consider various computation models purporting to explain how justice rules are assessed and aggregated to form fairness judgments. Fourth and last, we conclude by reviewing research that enriches our understanding of justice rules by showing how they are cognitively processed. We observe that there are a number of influences on fairness judgments, and situations exist in which individuals do not systematically consider justice rules.

Publication Title

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management