Barriers to Fairness in the Workplace

Fairness refers to employees’ judgments of the appropriateness of outcomes, processes, and the treatment they receive at the workplace. Managers often intuitively recognize the importance of fairness and, in the abstract, are often motivated to act fairly. However, employees often experience unfair treatment. I am interested in the reasons for the gap between managers’ intentions and employees’ experience. I thus focus my efforts on understanding structural and perceptual barriers to fair treatment.

Selected Research 

It’s not only what you do, but why you do it: How managerial motives influence employees’ fairness judgments

With Muir Cindy & Joseph Liu

Read the full article in the Journal of Applied Psychology

Seeking and finding justice: Why and when managers’ feedback seeking enhances justice enactment (2021)

With Ravi Gajendran & Barry Posner

Read the full article in the Journal of Organizational Behavior

For summaries and further discussions see:

  1.  HR People + Strategy: “Seeking Feedback Helps Leaders Enhance Fairness” 

  2.  UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School: “Seeking and Finding Fairness at Work

  3. Real Pal: "Barriers to justice enactment? Feedback seeking could be the treatment!"

Too busy to be fair? The effect of workload and rewards on managers’ justice rule adherence (2019)

With Vijaya Venkataramani and Ravi Gajendran

Read the full article in the Academy of Management Journal  

For summaries and further discussions see:

  1. Harvard Business Review: "Research: When Managers Are Overworked, They Treat Employees Less Fairly"

  2. Academy of Management Insights: "The Real Reasons Why Some Bosses Treat Employees Unfairly"

  3. UNC Kenan-Flagler News & Stories: "When companies treat employees fairly, everyone wins"

Friend or foe? The impact of relational ties with comparison others on outcome fairness and satisfaction judgments (2015)