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It is a subjective personal view of justice, based upon experience, rather than an objective moral determination of justice based upon principle. Jasso, , p. Western justice theorists have held that justice indicates whether employees are valued and respected members of an organization.
For this reason, a vast majority of research studies on organizational justice or perceived fairness have examined either the direct effects of individual differences e. Please note that throughout the rest of the research-paper the terms fairness and justice are used synonymously. Perceptions of organizational fairness have been found to influence several important outcomes at individual, group, and organizational levels.
At the individual level, it affects attitudes like employee job satisfaction, commitment, and behaviors that include in-role performance and extrarole behavior. At the group level, fair perceptions can indirectly influence the morale of the group and its performance. Studies have repeatedly shown that there is a relationship between perceived injustice and counterproductive behavior and negative organizational outcomes.
However, there are still several unanswered questions regarding the antecedents and consequences of justice perceptions. Although human perception is influenced by a the characteristics of b the perceived, c the characteristics of the perceiver, and d the characteristics of the situation, much research attention has been directed at the characteristics of the perceiver and the situation in organizational justice research due to the potential interaction effects and consequences at various levels.
This research-paper presents key and representative findings in organizational justice research as outlined in the conceptual model presented in Figure This model depicts the relationship of perceived fairness to various individual, group, and organizational outcomes. Figure Organizational justice is the overarching theoretical concept that deals with fair treatment of people in organizations.
Most current research and thinking on this topic follows the theoretical framework suggested by Colquitt et al.
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Current research acknowledges the existence of three types of fairness perceptions or organizational justice: a distributive justice, which deals with the fairness regarding how outcomes are distributed; b procedural justice, which deals with the fairness regarding the procedure s adopted to distribute outcomes; and c interactional justice, which deals with how individual employees are treated in an organization.
Interactional justice, further, has been found to have two components: 1 interpersonal and 2 informational. Interpersonal justice refers to perceptions of treating people with respect and dignity. Informational justice refers to the fairness in timely, complete, and accurate information distribution. As what is perceived as fair or just is inherently norm-based, culture and internalized values play a significant role in shaping expectations and fairness perceptions. As cultures prescribe norms and values for its members, it would be interesting to see cross-cultural differences in perceived fairness at all three justice levels.
Some theorists have recently advocated the importance of using organizational justice as a lens through. An important question that needs to be addressed is the generalizability of the findings about organizational justice that are based on one culture. From a theoretical point of view, exploring cultural similarity and differences in justice constructs will contribute to the comprehensiveness and universality of justice theories.
The study of justice perceptions will be incomplete without understanding the differences in national culture. The notion that nations have identifiable cultures that can influence how business is conducted in that nation became a topic of interest through the research work of Hofstede Much of what we understand about corporate culture and work-related values today is based on the results of his seminal work studying employees at International Business Machines IBM.
He conducted a series of research studies and compiled altogether the data collected from 50 different countries using 20 different languages and more than , employees ranging seven different occupational levels. The results indicated reliable and meaningful differences among nations as measured through the responses to the attitude and opinion surveys.
Hofstede identified four major cultural dimensions that can be used to explain cross-cultural differences. They include the following:. Power distance is the extent to which less powerful members expect and accept unequal distribution of power. In other words, it is the degree to which a culture encourages and maintains power and status differentials.
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The United States scored relatively low on power distance, and Malaysia scored highest on power distance. New Zealand, Denmark, Israel, and Austria scored lowest, suggesting that these countries work at minimizing status and power differentials. This key factor may affect justice perceptions as managers in high power distance cultures are seen as making decisions autocratically and paternalistically, whereas managers in low power distance cultures are indulging extensively in adopting participative management on important decisions they take.
Cultures high on power distance foster organizations with greater centralization of organization and process, taller organizational pyramids, larger proportions of supervisory personnel, larger wage differentials, lower qualifications for lower strata of employees, and greater valuation of white-collar as opposed to blue-collar jobs. Individualism-collectivism is a philosophy that expresses how individuals are related to a group. Individualism refers to the belief that individuals in a society take care of themselves and their family members.
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Collectivism is the belief that individuals an integral part of the society whose primary concern is the collective group. As a result, individuals form perceptions of independent self in individualistic cultures or interdependent self in collectivistic cultures. The United States scores high on individualism compared to all other nations. Peru, Pakistan, Colombia, and Venezuela were found to score high on collectivism.
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Members in individualistic cultures value freedom and autonomy in structuring their work, they seek challenge, and initiative is encouraged at work. On the contrary, desiring to be independent, seeking freedom, and seeking initiative are frowned upon in collectivistic cultures. Masculinity-femininity refers to how far gender roles are distinct in a society.
Countries scoring high on masculinity expect individuals to be instrumental and goal oriented, whereas countries high on femininity stand for a society in which social gender roles overlap. Japan, Austria, Venezuela, and Italy scored highest on masculinity. The United States is more masculine than feminine. Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden scored lowest and had the fewest differences between gender roles. Gender equity at workplace is a concern for more feminine cultures.
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Many American work organizations are still in transition toward achieving this challenge. Masculine cultures expect managers to value leadership, independence, and self-realization, whereas feminine cultures places less importance on these aspects. They also regard earnings, recognition, and achievement as more important when compared to feminine cultures. Job stress is found to be high in organizations that operate in highly masculine cultures. Uncertainty avoidance is the extent to which individuals in one culture feel threatened by uncertain or unknown events and situations.
Cultures high on uncertainty avoidance develop highly refined rules and rituals to cope with or avoid uncertainty.
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Those cultures high on uncertainty avoidance are found to be associated with higher degree of job stress. Countries scoring low on this dimension are less concerned with rules and rituals. The United States scored very low in uncertainty avoidance. Sweden, Denmark, and Singapore scored lowest on this dimension. These cultures are found to encourage individuals to be risk takers and to be entrepreneurial.
Another concern is that focusing on national averages can downplay the variability among individuals in a nation.
Role Of Culture In Shaping Fairness Perceptions And Behavior
Organizations, in order to be successful, take into consideration these differences while structuring work, rules, and their policies. In most of the early work in cross-cultural justice research, culture was equated to country differences. In other words, most of the early studies were essentially cross-country studies. The major assumption adopted being people in one country share similar culture. Culture has also been captured through dimensions of values e.
People from different cultural backgrounds bring to work different values. These similarities and differences in value orientations related to work can be a source of growth or conflict. There has been a recent trend to focus more on specific value dimensions and other contextual factors. The following section provides a review of research conducted on justice perceptions with a cross-cultural or cross-national focus.
Please note that an attempt has been made to present representative and key findings and, by no means, is this review comprehensive or exhaustive. Organizations make several decisions on distributing rewards and allocating resources using one of three distribution rules—equity, equality, or need based. Research findings support certain national preferences to use one distribution rule over others.
It has been generally supported that while Americans prefer equity, people from Japan and Netherlands prefer equality, and people from India perceive need based distribution as more favorable. Cross-cultural researchers have attempted to identify variables that could help explain these differences and value differences have emerged as one of the leading factors in providing such explanations.
Openness to change comprises of motivational types of self-direction, stimulation, and hedonism; conservation comprises of security, conformity, and tradition value types. Employees valuing conservation over openness to change are motivated by their belief in social order, obedience to authorities, and acceptance of their position in the organizational hierarchy. On the other hand, employees valuing openness to change are more likely to focus on justice.
Self-enhancement values include power and achievement even at others expense , and self-transcendence values include a motivation to transcend selfish concerns. Those sampled valuing self-enhancement reacted more positively to decisions based on work performance and seniority. The study results also indicate that employees endorsing openness to change values reported a stronger relationship between perceived fairness and organizational commitment.
They also reported more compliant behavior, which goes above and beyond formal role descriptions also known as extrarole behavior or organizational citizenship behavior. Managers with conservation values are more likely to use avoiding-conflict management style whereas self-enhancement values are related to forcing, competing, and dominating behavioral tendencies. Most research work on distributive justice explores individual response to a resource allocation decisions.
However, some researchers have inquired into what factors decision makers consider while making an allocation decision. The study concluded that decision makers overuse resources when fairness was a concern. Ramamoorthy and Flood researched gender-related pay disparity by studying Irish manufacturing organizations and found that gender moderated the relationships between distributive justice perceptions and affective commitment.
The concerns of gender differences in pay need to be tested in different national context. In a more recent work by Fischer et al. They studied the relationship of national values and economic and organizational factors across six nations and reported differences in reward allocation principles based on equity, equality, and need in work organizations across Germany, United Kingdom, New Zealand, United States, and Brazil.
Researchers have studied fairness perceptions regarding processes or procedures managers use in allocating rewards and relevant outcomes. People hold expectations about what is a fair procedure in a given situation.