Research: When Managers Are Overworked, They Treat Employees Less Fairly

by Elad N. Sherf, Ravi S. Gajendran and Vijaya Venkataramani

Fair managers can reap big dividends. Extensive research finds that employees who feel fairly treated are better performers, helpful to colleagues, more committed to their workgroups and the organization, and less likely to steal or be rude to others.

Acting fairly is not always easy. Over 60 years of research finds that fairness is not one simple, singular choice but a complex and integrated set of decisions and actions. To be judged as fair by employees, bosses have to attend to four aspects of fairness:

  1. First, they have to ensure distributive fairness by making sure that employees are equitably rewarded for their contributions.
  2. Second, they have to follow transparent and clear procedures in arriving at those rewards. 
  3. Third, they have to engage in informational fairness by explaining the logic behind their decisions in a timely manner.
  4. Last but not the least, they have to be interpersonally fair by treating employees with dignity and respect.


Similar Posts