Perceptions of justice: demographic variables and social position

Katz, Lesley-Anne
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The current study aimed to explore peoples’ experiences of social and organisational justice, and in doing so asked three central questions. The first focused on whether there was a relationship between the different dimensions of justice, and the second on the commonalties and differences in peoples’ perceptions of justice. The third question looked at whether demographic variables, as markers of social identity, were predictive of such justice perceptions. The study was quantitative in nature, and made use of a non-experimental, partially exploratory, cross-sectional design. Four hundred and eight six employees of a large South African manufacturing organisation completed a self report questionnaire containing questions about a range of biographic, domestic, financial, employment, and religious information, as well as two measures of social and organisational justice perceptions. Once preliminary analyses were carried out to ensure the psychometric properties of the measuring instruments and explore the data set, two key statistical procedures were used to answer the research questions, namely a cluster analysis and a Chi Squared Automatic Interaction Detection or CHAID analysis. Results of these analyses provided some evidence to argue that justice perceptions in different contexts, while not strongly related, cannot be seen in isolation from another, and that a more integrative or reciprocal approach to understanding different justice perceptions needs to be adopted. Further, the results of the cluster analysis demonstrated that a range of key justice concerns differentiated groups from another, including collective versus individual concerns, personal versus impersonal events, as well as concerns related to the different types of relationships that exist. Finally, the CHAID analysis provided some indication of which demographic variables were the best determinants of social and organisational justice perceptions, and the ways in which demographic variables interacted with one another in relation to peoples’ experiences of justice.
justice, organisation, demographics