Organizational Behavior and Work

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Organizational Behavior and Work
Pre- Course Assignment

Le Tuan Nam
Master of Science (Finance)
Intake 15
Student No: 12256422

Dr. Emily Chua & Prof. Pat Gibbons
12th November 2012
(1000 words)
Joel Brockner is the Philip Hettleman Professor of Business at Columbia Business School in New York. He wrote the article on “Why it’s so hard to be fair” in 2006 and was published by Harvard Business review. The article received responded enthusiastically from readers and critics. "Why it's so hard to be fair?" mentions about a process which can reduce cost and improve employees' performance: process fairness. 

What’s process fairness? It refers to people’s perceptions of how fairly they are treated in the course of interacting with another party. (Joel Brockner, 2009). Process fairness doesn't ensure that employees will get what they want but it's sure that they can be heard; and that is all making employees have a positive reaction to company decisions.

Within the broader field of organizational behavior, Professor Brockner is well known for his work in several areas, including the effects of organizational downsizing on the productivity and morale of the "survivors," management of organizational change, self processes in organizations and managerial judgment and decision making. He teaches the core course Leadership the elective Managerial Decision Making, and he is an active consultant and speaker to companies worldwide. (Brockner)

The article started with the downsizing problem in 2 firms, the article comes with showing obviously the effectiveness not only in reducing cost but also in increasing employees' performance. When and where the process can be applied is mentioned before deeply analyzing about its benefits. Then the article continues to explain why everybody doesn't use the process fairness although it has many advantages.

The first advantage by applying process fairness is firms could spend a lot less money and still have more satisfied employees. By giving the examples on the 2 companies, the studies have showed how effective the process fairness is. Companies can reduce their cost from high compensation, cut down employees' thief and turnover as well as possibly release them from their stress. Moreover, process fairness can prevent absences of employees due to discouragement. They know what and why such thing is going in the company, therefore, they tend to support rather than merely comply with those decisions. Fair Process is a performance booster was another reason that managers should consider using it. This form of value is less tangible than direct reduction of expense, but it affects the bottom line nonetheless. Process fairness is not only minimizing costs but also help to increase value, inspiring operational employees. The process helps to create creativity and innovation in their works, hence, it is the consequence of employees' satisfaction. Operational autonomy is an extreme version of process fairness that sometime doesn't come from money. As a matter of fact, process fairness is known as strategic fitness process (STP).

When Joel Brockner worked with the CEO and bank’s operational managers of a financial institution several years ago, he learned the gap between the CEO and his employees. The managers felt that the CEO and senior executives failed to appreciate the magnitude of the change they were asking for. They simply wanted the top to recognize their difficult situation. By applying process fairness, it helped the senior executives create a trusting environment in which managers felt they could safely speak out their true opinions. That enabled senior managers not only to respond to the root problems but also to gain their employees’ commitment.

Although Fair Process has shown its many advantages but not much companies have been using it. The question is: why doesn't everybody use it? Actually, managers are aware of it but they don't really have any action...
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