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Moral and organisational psychology of justice Klaus Helkama, University of Helsinki Universidade de Coimbra, May 21, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Moral and organisational psychology of justice Klaus Helkama, University of Helsinki Universidade de Coimbra, May 21, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Moral and organisational psychology of justice Klaus Helkama, University of Helsinki Universidade de Coimbra, May 21, 2009

2 Justice as the Queen of Virtues Cappella degli Scrovegni (Padova; Giotto) ”weighs, coordinates and eliminates chaos” At the bottom: hunting scene and market scene  –When Justice reigns, people can relax and enjoy themselves

3 Justice as the Queen of Virtues

4 The moral and organisational psychology of justice(contents) Justice: distributive, procedural, and interactional Principles of distributive justice: equity, equality, need Principles of procedural justice (Leventhal): consistency, representativeness, correctability, bias suppression, accuracy of information, ethicality –Their use in moral judgments Justice in organisations –Consequences of just and unjust leadership Where does the explanatory power of justice come from?

5 Example: New land – how to distribute? Lake Höytiäinen (Finland, 1859) The surface of the lake was lowered by 9 meters  – hectars of new, fertile land

6 Höytiäinen 1997

7 Distributive justice (DJ) Equity: to all according to their contribution Equality: to everybody the same Need: to each according to her/his needs Weekly pocket money? Morton Deutsch: types of social relations –Equity: hierarchical, task-oriented, competitive, formal (economic organisations) –Equality: egalitarian, cooperative, informal –Need: socio-emotional ( focus on care)

8 Procedural justice (PJ;Leventhal 1980) 6 principles Consistency: the procedure should be applied consistently across persons and across time (asking one colleague but not another) Bias suppression: no vested interest or partiality (political opinions influence decision-making)

9 Procedural justice Accuracy of information: decisions based on accurate information or expert opinion (reading exam answers carelessly) Correctability: provision for correcting bad decisions (possible to complain about assessments)

10 Procedural justice Representativeness: those affected on the decision should have influence on the decision (”voice”: no say on personnel selection) Ethicality: no deception, bribing, spying etc. (employer evesdropping employees’ meeting, house manager not telling about bad condition of the house)

11 Empirical research Lind & Tyler (1988) The social psychology of procedural justice: Procedural justice is important in all kinds of social relationships, both task-oriented and socio-emotional Procedural justice is often more important than distributive justice

12 Development of moral judgment and use of procedural justice rules Kohlberg: 5 stages of moral judgment (mj) Design: Kohlberg Moral Judgment Interview (hypothetical dilemmas scored (100= stage 1,…, 500=stage 5) + real-life dilemma(s) How do respondents at different stages of mj use procedural justice rules? - Some rules more likely at higher stages? - More rules used at higher stages?

13 Moral judgment development and procedural justice rules Shop stewards (n=42) MMS (moral maturity score ) Bias suppression Users Non-users 377 (9)340 (33)* Ethicality 359 (27)327 (15)** High MMS  more rules Physicians (n=28) Bias suppression UsersNon-users 355 (7)315 (21)* (Helkama & Ikonen 1996)

14 Moral judgment development & PJ Colby & Kohlberg Moral Judgment Scoring Manual (1987): Looking at the ”match examples” Bias suppression and consistency occurred more frequently at higher stages (Myyry & Helkama, Social Justice Res. 2002)

15 Moral judgment development & PJ Participants in a professional ethics course (n=41) Hypothetical (affirmative action) & real-life (personal dilemma) – both scored for Kohlberg stage & proc. justice rules All justice rules used more frequently in real-life dilemmas (except consistency) High scorers on Kohlberg MJ used bias suppression more than low scorers (86 vs 60%) (Myyry & Helkama, Social Justice Research 2002)

16 Moral judgment & justice Use of bias suppression consistently associated with higher stages of moral judgment development Why? Because it represents the ”moral point of view” (impartial, disinterested, trying to take all points of view into consideration) Open questions: - Is the number of justice rules used in problem-solving really related to MJ development (only 1 study out of 4)?

17 Organisational psychology Distributive justice (DJ): pay in relation to responsibility; further training opportunities; advancement Procedural justice (PJ): how decisions are made; how my boss makes decisions Interactional justice (IJ): how I am treated (with respect, honestly, boss is sensitive to my needs, shows concern for my rights)

18 Consequences of justice Less job strain: Justice = all kinds of perceived justice (DJ, PJ, IJ; Moorman) Health care personnel (n=500) Effects of job autonomy on job strain were mediated by justice Elovainio, Kivimäki & Helkama, J. Applied Psychology 2001

19 Consequences of justice If your boss is fair, you have 30% less chance to die in heart attack 5-year follow-up of 1000 British civil servants Just leadership  less chronic stress Kivimäki & al., J. Internal Medicine, 2005

20 Consequences of justice If you are a hotel manager, your customers are more satisfied when you are fair: 4500 employees, 800 departments, 100 hotels, PJ, IJ Guest service satisfaction (hotel level) & PJ, r=. 25*, & IJ, r =.28** Path: PJ & IJ  commitment  better service (Simons & Roberson, J. Applied Psychology, 2003)

21 Why is justice (psychologically) important? Reduces uncertainty (van den Bos & Lind Adv. Exp.Soc. Psychol, 2002) Increases trustworthiness of authorities (Relational model, Tyler & Lind, Adv, Exp. Soc. Psychol., 1992) Leads to pride and respect  identification with the group (Group engagement model, Tyler & Blader, Pers. Soc. Psych. Review, 2003) Giotto (1320) was right!

22 Current new directions Identity (ingroup-outgroup) (Wenzel, Eur. Rev. Soc. Psychol., 2004) Höytiäinen: ingroup clear-cut But: forming new farms (land ownership) not legally regulated (lasted until 1955) Forest owners’ perceptions of justice and power in Finnish forest policy (Vainio & al., submitted) Actors: government, forest industry, nature conservationists, forest owners

23 New principles of PJ? Speed of decision-making Openness of decision-making Non-coercion

24 Uncertainty Uncertainty about one’s his status in a group: just procedures tell me that I’m a valuable member of the group. In an organization that is felt to be just, members identify more strongly with the organisation than in an unjust organisation (Olkkonen & Lipponen 2006). Hakonen & Lipponen (2008): in virtual teams with a large geographic dispersion and infrequent face-to- face contacts -->, uncertainty higher  justice more important for the identification with the team. 300 members of 39 virtual teams: No relationship between justice and team identification was found for teams in which members worked only in a few locations and which often had face- to-face meetings, For teams the members of which worked in many locations (in some teams there were as many as 13 different locations) and rare face-to-face meetings, a strong association was found between the degree of perceived justice in decision-making and identification with the team. Thus, uncertainty moderated the relation of perceived justice and identification.

25 Decision-maker: ingroup or outgroup member? Huo & Tyler (2001): the decisions of an ingroup authority assessed more in terms of their procedural fairness whereas those by an outgroup authority were evaluated from the point of view of their favourability to the respondents. More than 300 civil servants to describe a recent conflict situation in job and how the superior had resolved the conflict. Ingroup and outgroup were operationalized in terms of ethnic group: if the superior belonged to the same ethnic group as the respondent he was ingroup member, otherwise an outgroup member. Ingroup authorities are expected to follow principles of procedural justice, outgroup authorities may use unjust procedures as long as they are to my advantage. In a similar way, in a conflict with an ingroup member, fair procedures are felt to be much more important than in a conflict with an outgroup member, where it is the outcome that counts, irrespective of fairness.

26 How to decide on the procedures of decision-making?. In democratic nation states, these basic principles are defined in the constitution, which supposedly reflects the opinion of the vast majority of population (or at least to be changed requires a larger than usual majority of votes in the Parliament).The constitution determines who has the right to decide on what, for instance, what are the questions that the inhabitants of a certain region or municipality can decide through their representative organs, such as the price of the local bus or railway ticket, as opposed to questions to be decided at the national level. While the questions and decision-making rules at present tend to meet smoothly in Europe, except in Northern Italy and Spain and some other places, one issue that remains open worldwide is the right of indigenous peoples to own the land they have been using since time immemorial. Indians living in Amazonian rain forests in Brazil as well as the Sami people living in Finnish Lapland are examples of such groups. The events in a small Sami village in Finnish Lapland in the spring 2005 are an example of surprising consequences that may take place when principles of justice and social identities clash. This village, Nellim, has less than 200 inhabitants but over the past decade the number of tourists has increased so that now, the yearly number of tourists per inhabitant is more that ten. Tourists are attracted by the intact wild nature. Preserving the wilderness is in the interest of those local people who are employed by the tourism. It is also in the interest of those people who get their livelihood from the traditional Sami trade of reindeer management, for the pasture of their reindeers. However, one part of the local people work in forestry, and the economic use, selling the raw material of the local large forests, not their preservation in an intact state, serves their interests. Thus, the economic interests of those three groups are opposed, the tourism people and the reindeer managers want the wilderness to be preserved, the forestry people it to be used for logging operations. A basic problem for the people in Nellim is that the land around the village is not owned by them but by the Finnish state, through the National Board of Forestry, a business enterprise. In social identity terms, the constellation is “we – the people of Nellim” vs. “they – the masters/gentlemen from the south”. The people of Nellim felt that they had no power over their own affairs, the decisions are made in the capital by members of the outgroup. The conflict between tourism and reindeer people vs. forestry people was felt to be subordinate to the conflict between north and south.

27 Greenpeace, National Board of Forestry & the Sami people In March 2005, a global actor entered the small Lapland village. Greenpeace wanted to call international attention to the way the logging operations were destroying the possibility of reindeer managers to pursue their traditional trade and way of life. Greenpeace established a “Forest Rescue Station” in the wood near the village and invited German TV to report on what was happening. This situation offered also a good opportunity for a doctoral student in geography who had been studying the conflict on land use in Nellim for some years to come back and interview local people. Her doctoral thesis (Riipinen 2008) allows the social psychological reconstruction of the events. From the viewpoint of a purely economic self-interest, we could expect reindeer managers and tourism people to identify with Greenpeace and forestry people with National Board of Forestry, which promoted their interests, respectively. However, things were not so simple. While the prior common opinion on land use had been fairly close to that advocated by Greenpeace, the village people were not delighted by its appearance. On the contrary, it was generally felt that reindeer managers had broken an ingroup norm in inviting the global actor to bustle around. Greenpeace was held to be an even more remote outgroup than were the “people from the south” represented by the National Board of Forestry. According to the observations of the researcher, allying with the out-outgroup, Greenpeace, led to the exclusion of reindeer managers from the local ingroup. They were not invited to the village festival after Greenpeace had left, and were apparently not welcome to the only shop and coffee bar in the village any more. – Somewhat like the proverbial quarrelling married couple which get united against an intruder who takes the part of the husband or wife, the village people acted as if maintaining ingroup identity were more important than “justice” achieved by means of an outgroup. To understand procedural justice it is necessary to consider social identity as well. The Sami people’s right to maintain their language and culture is guaranteed in the Finnish constitution. The villagers strongly felt that the principles of representativeness and correctability in the decisions that concern them were not realized – their voice not heard in Helsinki. The Finnish constitution also states that the state must promote the opportunities of individuals to participate in the decision-making that concerns them and the opportunities to participate in the decision-making concerning their living environment. These constitutional tasks have not been very efficiently carried out in Lapland. Eventually, the state decided to resume logging operations in Nellim in the spring Economic power prevailed over the constitutional rights of the Sami minority to maintain their culture and make decisions regarding their living environment. For the decision-makers in the capital, the Sami people in Nellim were an outgroup, whose rights did not count.


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