Organisational Justice definition

Organisational justice, first postulated by Greenberg in 1987, refers to an employee’s perception of their organisation’s behaviours, decisions and actions and how these influence the employees own attitudes and behaviours at work.

The term is closely connected to the concept of fairness; employees are sensitive to decisions made on a day-to-day basis by their employers, both on the small and large scale, and will judge these decisions as unfair or fair. These judgements influence an individual’s behaviour and can, in cases where the actions have a personal effect on the employee and are judged as unfair, lead to workplace deviance.

Organisational justice is concerned with all matters of workplace behaviour, from treatment by superiors to pay, access to training and gender equality. It is originally derived from equity theory, which suggests individuals make judgements on fairness based on the amount they give (input) compared to the amount they get back (output).

Ensuring organisational justice should be a priority for organisation – it can reduce the incidence of workplace deviance, absence, disengagement and counterproductive workplace behaviours (CWB) and also encourage positive attributes like trust and progressive communication.

Organisational justice is sometimes discussed alongside corporate social responsibility (CSR), a form of societal justice.


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