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Justice and fairness in the workplace: a trajectory for managing diversity

Pradeepa Dahanayake (Swinburne Business School, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia)
Diana Rajendran (Department of Management, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia)
Christopher Selvarajah (Swinburne Business School, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia)
Glenda Ballantyne (Department of Sociology, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 18 June 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue that diversity management (DM) interventions, underpinned by principles of justice and fairness, create a powerful force that drives sustainable outcomes. Further, the authors argue that justice and fairness should be embedded at the core of DM.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study methodology was used to ascertain how four organizations approached critical issues regarding diversity. Justice and fairness principles were used as a framework to evaluate each organization’s DM interventions. Different approaches adopted by the case study organizations were compared using a cross-case analysis.

Findings

Justice and fairness principles provide a useful framework to evaluate DM interventions. The findings show that justice and fairness principles have an effect across the continuum of DM, including identifying dimensions of diversity, executing DM programs and realizing outcomes of DM.

Research limitations/implications

The current study is limited to four case studies using qualitative methods.

Practical implications

The findings demonstrate the importance of integrating justice and fairness benchmarks when implementing DM programs.

Originality/value

The findings shed light on the link between DM and justice and fairness, an area lacking empirical studies. It also presents a new area for empirical enquiry—the application of social justice principles in evaluating organizational interventions in DM.

Keywords

Citation

Dahanayake, P., Rajendran, D., Selvarajah, C. and Ballantyne, G. (2018), "Justice and fairness in the workplace: a trajectory for managing diversity", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 470-490. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-11-2016-0105

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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