Achieving Peak Performance
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Cary L. Cooper and Ronald J. Burke
Andrew Noblet and Denise Jepsen INTRODUCTION Employees’ perceptions of how fairly they’re treated in the workplace (also referred to as organizational justice) have long been known to impact on a range of outcomes critical to organizational functioning including employee motivation, labour turnover, deviant work behaviours (e.g., theft, sabotage) and employee performance (e.g., Adams, 1965; Colquitt et al., 2001; Greenberg, 1990; Leventhal, 1976). The literature examining the strategies organizations can adopt to prevent and reduce perceptions of injustice is less developed (Greenberg, 2009) and what information is available tends to assume that organizations have a team of professionally trained human resource (HR) specialists to address justice-related issues (Cropanzano et al., 2003; Posthuma & Campion, 2008). However, smaller firms are far less likely to have dedicated HR personnel, with owners and managers often performing key HR functions (Forth et al., 2004; Saru, 2009), and there are strong indications that these and other common characteristics of SMEs (e.g., decreased spatial and organizational distance between members) may make them especially vulnerable to both the sources and ill-effects of unfair treatment. The central question addressed in this chapter is, what strategies can SMEs adopt in order to promote organizational justice in their workplaces? We present a framework that SMEs can use to develop a comprehensive approach to promoting fairness in their organizations. This framework consists of strategies that operate at three inter-related levels (primary, secondary and tertiary) and is aimed at providing owners, managers and other personnel with people-management responsibilities with practical guidance on how they...
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