Process fairness refers to people's perceptions of how fairly they are treated in the course of interacting with another party. Conceptually distinct from outcome fairness, it subsumes procedural fairness, interpersonal fairness, and the like. As recipients of decisions, we generally want to be treated with more rather than with less process fairness. As agents of decisions, we often would rather plan and implement them with more rather than with less process fairness. Whereas the organizational justice literature generally extols the virtues of high process fairness, recent theory and research suggest that when it comes to process fairness, more is not always better than less. We discuss why, when, and how people's general tendency to desire higher process fairness over lower process fairness may be attenuated, eliminated, or even reversed. Our analysis is organized by the notion that under some conditions, receiving or acting with high process fairness prevents people from satisfying some of their basic psychological motives, such as their needs to feel good about themselves or to maintain a sense of control. Future research directions also are considered.
Brockner, Joel, Batia Wiesenfeld, and Kristina Diekmann. "Towards a 'Fairer' Conception of Process Fairness: Why, When and How More May Not Always Be Better Than Less." The Academy of Management Annals 3, no. 1 (2009): 183–216.
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