The author would like to acknowledge his gratitude to Guy E. Owen and Madeline Heilman for their helpful editorial and substantive suggestions on earlier drafts of this study.
Hierarchy as a Mediator of Fairness: A Contingency Approach to Distributive Justice in Organizations1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 124–135, April 1984
How to Cite
Lansberg, I. (1984), Hierarchy as a Mediator of Fairness: A Contingency Approach to Distributive Justice in Organizations. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 14: 124–135. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1984.tb02225.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Employees of one organization were asked to indicate the fairness of six different ways of allocating a hypothetical lump sum. As expected, the results suggest an overall preference for equity-based allocations. However, the employee's level in the hierarchy was found to mediate perceptions of fairness: upper managers viewed organization-wide equity as being most fair; middle managers saw intra-departmental equity as fairest; and clericals, unable to differentiate between equality and equity, perceived both these principles as being fairest. The results were interpreted in terms of a “contingency” approach to distributive justice which aims at integrating institutional, situational, and individual determinants of fairness.