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Managing the Employment Relationship. 12. Organizational Justice. Justice —exists when people receive those things they believe they deserve to receive based upon their contributions. compensation to employees

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organizational justice
Organizational Justice
  • Justice—exists when people receive those things they believe they deserve to receive based upon their contributions.
    • compensation to employees
    • mechanisms the organization uses to manage the association between employee and employer
      • reasons to treat employees in fair and just manner
        • moral imperatives
        • increases customer service
      • unfair treatment negatively affects:
          • productivity, absences, and turnover
          • satisfaction, commitment and citizenship behaviors
          • accident rates and health costs
          • theft from the organization
          • temperament toward supervisors
types of organizational justice
Types of Organizational Justice
  • Two major types of organizational justice.
    • distributive justice—deals with perceptions of equity in the allocation of rewards or penalties given by the organization
    • procedural justice—the perception of fair rules, laws, or policies that allocate valued rewards and punishments
      • increased perceived fairness believed to “trickle-down” into lower turnover and increased customer service orientation.
      • perceived fair treatment has significant effects on worker attitudes (e.g., job satisfaction)
ethics programs
Ethics Programs
  • Four elements emphasized in ethical thinking programs.
    • respect the customs/rituals of others
    • think of yourself and the organization as a part of the larger society
    • try to evaluate a situation objectively and evaluate the anticipated and unintended consequences of each possible action
    • consider the welfare of others as much as is feasible
  • Programs with the highest likelihood of reporting included:
    • written statement
    • training
    • advice lines
    • reporting systems
organizational entry
Organizational Entry
  • Organizational entry—the first stage in which the individual begins to form expectations as to how they will be treated by the organization.
    • employment status
    • flexible work arrangements or traditional work schedule (eight hours a day, five days per week, 50 weeks per year)
      • flextime
      • permanent part-time work
      • job sharing
      • compressed work weeks
organizational entry1
Organizational Entry
  • realistic job previews (RJPs)—the presentation of relevant, balanced, and unbiased information about the organization, the job, and the conditions under which the job candidate will work
  • socialization and orientation
    • socialization—the process by which an individual comes to appreciate the values, abilities, expected behaviors, and social knowledge essential for assuming an organizational role and for participating as an organization member
      • institutionalized socialization
      • individualized socialization
    • orientation—the organizationally sponsored, formalized activities associated with an employee's socialization into the organization
  • Four-step program to make new employees feel at home:
    • mail a personal note of welcome
    • send new employee information, e.g. handbooks, maps to area, information on benefits, company programs, and projects the workgroup is working on.
    • personally call new employee to answer questions
    • call new employee night before first workday
  • Avoid:
    • using too much valuable orientation time to complete paperwork
    • giving too much information too quickly
    • giving information that is irrelevant to adjustment to the position and the organization
    • scaring the employee by spending an inordinate amount of time discussing the negative aspects of the job
    • using lectures and videos rather than methods that allow for two-way communication
    • limiting orientation to the first day at work
    • selling the organization
legal doctrine and legislation
Legal Doctrine and Legislation
  • Types of legal doctrine and legislation relevant to the established employment relationship:
    • employment-at-will doctrine—common-law standard that states that a private institution has the right to terminate its employees, with or without just cause, in the absence of a written contract
      • individuals often quit at will
      • does not apply with contract or violation of the law (e.g., EEO, NLRA)
      • exceptions to doctrine (differ by state)
        • public policy- often related to whistleblowing, reporting wrongful act
        • implied contracts-often related to employee handbook statements
        • covenant of good faith and fair dealing- 11 states have this exception
    • whistleblowing—reporting misconduct to persons who have the power to take action is protected by various federal, state and local laws
      • covenant of non-disclosure
      • non-compete agreements
legal doctrine and legislation1
Legal Doctrine and Legislation
  • privacy
    • Privacy Act of 1947—established protection against the use of employment records for purposes other than business functioning
    • PATRIOT Act of 2006—easier access by government officials to commercial databases that track credit card purchases, telephone records, and e-mail messages; this data mining technology has the potential to be used (and abused) by employers
    • Fair Credit Reporting Act—regulates “investigative consumer reports” about employee
    • employer can impose rules regarding the off-duty behavior of employees
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)—right to return to job and receive benefits while on duty
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act(WARN)—requires organizations to give affected employees 60 days' written notice when a plant will close or when mass layoffs are expected
employee surveys
Employee Surveys
  • Useful in determining satisfaction with programs and gathering feedback about policies and procedures.
    • feedback programs increase productivity and product and service quality
    • show organization’s strengths and weaknesses
    • can be used to facilitate planned organizational change
    • Most effective as part of an assessment and intervention strategy
    • Satisfaction with supervisor most related to job performance
    • Worker engagement (worker’s involvement, satisfaction and enthusiasm for work) related to revenue and sales
employee handbooks
Employee Handbooks
  • Purposes of an employee handbook according to Inc. magazine:
    • communicate company policies and procedures
    • establish the mutual agreements between the employee and the organization while avoiding contractual language
    • explain the company's philosophy
    • excite and motivate the employees about their jobs
    • convey a broader sense of the company mission and vision
what to include in an employee handbook
What to Include in an Employee Handbook
  • Holidays
  • Jury duty time off
  • Layoffs
  • Leaves
  • Lockers/personal property
  • Maternity leave of absence
  • Military leave of absence
  • Nepotism policy
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Non-disclosure covenants
  • Open door policy
  • Organizational bulletins
  • Orientation sessions
  • Overtime
  • Ownership of patents, inventions, royalties
  • Pay days
  • Performance appraisal
  • Personal leave of absence
  • Personal time off
  • Pregnancy
  • Pre-employment physical exam
  • Professional memberships
  • Promotions/job postings
  • References
  • Relocation
  • Right to amend handbook
  • Rest areas
  • Separation Pay
  • Accidents/injuries
  • At will statement
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Benefits
  • Dress codes, protective clothing
  • Company rules
  • Complaint/ADR procedures
  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Dating policy
  • Demotion
  • Disciplinary action and warning notices
  • Drug testing
  • COBRA issues
  • Educational assistance
  • Emergency procedures
  • Employee assistance
  • Employee suggestions
  • Employer/employee rights
  • Employment procedures
  • Ethical statements/policy
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Exit interviews
  • External communication
  • Falsification of records
  • FMLA
  • Flexible time off
  • Flextime
  • Grievance procedure/rights
  • Service awards
  • Sexual harassment/
  • other harassment
  • Smoking
  • Solicitation
  • Suggestions
  • Support of recreational activities
  • Telephone/cell phone/e-mail/
  • Internet/ intranet use
  • Temporary employees/status/I-9 forms
  • Terminations
  • Testing
  • Time cards
  • Training programs
  • Transfers
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Vacation
  • Visitors
  • Violence policy
  • Voting
  • Warning system
  • Whistleblowing policy
  • Funeral time off
  • Garnishments
  • Safety/OSHA issues
  • Safety administration
  • Work week
  • Worker’s compensation

Source: Adapted and updated from M.F. Cook, Personnel policies and employee communications: Handling new issues in today’s work environment. New Directions in Human Resources: A Handbook. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1987.

  • Guiding principles.
    • decisions should be based on job-related criteria; that is, behavior that is being disciplined should have a direct impact upon job or organizational performance
    • employees should be treated consistently
    • company policy should be followed; any deviation from company policy due to mitigating circumstances should be clearly documented and explained
    • communication to all involved should be accurate and honest, but confidentiality should be maintained when appropriate
progressive discipline
Progressive Discipline
  • Example of a progressive disciplinary program is outlined as follows:
    • verbal warning
    • written warning copied to supervisor's file
    • written warning copied to HR file
    • suspension or demotion
    • termination
  • Grievances—a formal, written complaint about the way in which the employment relationship is being carried out.
    • unionized organizations
      • elaborate grievance procedure
      • draws on stewards and other union leaders to argue the grievance if it is not rectified through written procedures
    • non-unionized organizations
      • procedure varies
        • open-door policies
        • peer review
        • formal mediation and arbitration
organizational exit
Organizational Exit
  • Organizational exit—the dissolution of the employment relationship.
    • termination—dissolution of the employment relationship that is originated by the organization
    • resignation—employees voluntary leave their position within the organization
    • retirement—an exit from an organization position or career path of considerable duration taken by individuals after middle age and taken with the intention of reduced psychological commitment to work thereafter
    • layoff—tactical, physical action of eliminating redundant skills in the organization
integrative model of turnover determinants
Integrative Model of Turnover Determinants

Antecedents of Commitment

Procedural justice

Expected utility of internal roles

Employment security

Job investments

Extraorganizational loyalties

Time and behavioral conflicts with work

Condition of job choice

Commitment propensity

Antecedents of Satisfaction

Job Scope

Role stress

Group cohesion


Met expectations

Negative affectivity








Labor Market

Unemployment rates


Access to information

on job availability

Relocation costs

Expected utility

of withdrawal





creating a more positive parting
Creating a More Positive Parting
  • Downsizing and layoffs.
    • advanced notice of the downsizing efforts
    • outplacement assistance for downsized workers
    • consideration given to layoff alternatives prior to a necessary layoff
      • worksharing programs
      • hiring freeze
      • early retirement packages
  • Retirement.
    • flexible retirement allows employees to phase into retirement slowly
    • use of retired employees as volunteers and ambassadors for their social programs