Mandated justice: The potential promise and possible pitfalls of mandating procedural justice in the workplace


Yuval Feldman, Edmond J. Safra Center for the Study of Ethics, Harvard University, 124 mt. Auburn St. Suite 520N Cambridge, MA 02138. Email:


This study addresses the question of whether and how legal authorities ought to intervene in work organizations in order to most effectively regulate the behavior of employees. This question is examined empirically, by exploring whether the association between the level of fairness employees experience in procedures regarding pay and benefits, and their adherence to workplace rules, differs depending upon whether those procedures are enacted by companies voluntarily or mandated by law. This question was addressed using both a survey of a representative sample of employees in Israel, as well as their reactions to an experimental vignette. The results generally suggest that evaluations of the procedural justice of performance appraisal hearings more strongly influenced judgments of overall workplace fairness, perceptions of management legitimacy, and employee rule-adherence behavior when employees believed fairer workplace procedures were required by law.