The American Institution Of Slavery Business Essay
The most essential principle of fairness that has been accepted widely is equal should be treated equally and unequal should be treated unequally (Aristotle, 1968). Individuals should have same treatment, only if they are acting in different ways in a relevant situation that they involved. Fairness has been used as an ability to make decision without referring to a person’s interests or feelings. It is unfair if an individual get special treatment based on age, race, sex or religion (Velasquez, Andre, Shanks & Meyer, 1996). If a doctor has two patients need his service and each of them reached the emergency room at the same time and their other aspects are equally same, the doctor either have to treat both of them at the same time or choose a fair method such as coin toss to see who get the treatment first.
Rawls (1971) defined fairness as a virtue of people in society. He view fairness as a basic concept of society that people learnt the basic of fairness since young and when they become mature they will understand the principle of fairness. It means bias free and understanding of other people’s need. By other meaning, Fairness is to give a person what he or she deserves (Rawls, 1971). If an employer hires two employees to work for him, and the work that they completed has no different, they deserve to get the same salary from the employer. In contrast, Nozick (1974) said that fairness means respecting people’s rights and the freedom to allow people to decide how they want to deal with what they have. Each individual is separate and people cannot question how other people utilize their own things. It means that it depends on the employer on how he going to pay the amount of salary to his two workers. However, Rawls (1971) say that most of what people have is the result of people natural talents and their position in society. Therefore, inequalities ownership of things is unfairness.
Foley (1967) introduced the criteria of envy freeness, is often considered as a definition of fairness. Most of the criteria are based on the assumption that a person compare what he or she has receive to what another people receive (Foley, 1967). Feldman and Kirman (1974) said that fairness in a fair society there is no one would prefer to have what other people have while unfair society is that everyone found themselves inferior to everyone else. The notion of envy is different with word envy that we commonly use. The comparison of it is the things that a person received but not with how happy the person is. This concept of fairness is depends on individual endowments and tastes (Feldman &Kirman, 1974).
The concern for fairness can motivate people. There are evidences suggesting that motivation of fairness can affect people behavior (Fehr & Schmidt, 1999). Therefore, fair-minded people are more likely to have positive organizational effects (Kahneman, Knetsch, &Thaler, 1986; Camerer&Thaler, 1995; Fehr &Gachter, 2000). There are several types of fairness from the concept of fairness which are distributive fairness, procedural fairness and interactional fairness. Hornibrook, Fearne and Lazzarin (2009) suggested that if these three aspects of fairness are perceived positively, it will reflect to the organizational outcomes.
As a conclusion, there are several past studies to support that fairness is mainly based on individual perception (Foley, 1967; Feldman &Kirman, 1974; Nozick, 1974). It allows people to decide what is fair and unfair to them. How they perceive on what they deserve is solely based on their own perception. However, there are few of the past studies showed that the fairness is to treat everyone equally without bias, it does not based on individual perception but based on the fundamental of fairness (Aristotle, 1968; Rawls, 1974). By having fairness, people believe that the effort they put in organization and society will result in equally return and fair treatment (Hornibrook et. al., 2009). Therefore, fairness is a necessary value and important in an organization and society (Rawls, 1971).
Types of fairness
1.1 Distributive fairness
Distributive fairness is a theory derived from Rawls’s (1971) work, focusing on allocation the goods and wealth in the society which built from a diverse group of members. In Rawls’s Theory of Justice, every action should be with the intention of accomplishing fairness pervasively and the actions should not hurt or damage others. For instance, Rawls (1971) believes that same distribution of benefits and goods should be allowed in every demographic throughout a society. Thus, whenever there is an exchange type of relationship, issues of distribution fairness are pervasive in a society (Deutsch, 1985).
According to Velasquez et al. (1996) distributive fairness is defined as the boundary of which the goods and burdens are shared fairly and just among the members of the society. There are strong beliefs that the institutions of a society should be changed when the institutions allocate the goods and burdens in unfairly. For example, the treatment of people differently based on their race is noticeable case of unjust in the American institution of slavery.
The distribution of benefits and resources can be considered based on four principles of distributive fairness (Munson, 2004). The principle of equality states that all benefit and resources are required to be distributed equivalently. Therefore, every member in a society is eligible to equality in term of resources share. Secondly, the principle of need states that the assets should be allocated based on the needs, meaning more assets will be distributed to those who have greater needs.
Thirdly, peoples should be benefited proportionally based on their individual contribution in the principle of contribution. As such, the amount of goods received is based on the ratio of contributed good and produced goods. In addition, returns of goods will be received proportionally to those who contribute more to the production of goods. Similarly, the principle of effort judges the efforts of the person made in determining the amount of goods to be received. However, these principles are difficult in determining the exact nature of the outcomes disregarding the amount of effort spent.
When the productivity and efficiency are involved, distribution fairness in organizations affects performance (Charash & Spector, 2001). According to Honans (1961) fairness in organizations refers to the distribution of the resources in the organization among the employees (Freedman & Montanari, 1980; Leventhal, 1980) and the reaction of the employees to the resource distributions (Greenberg, 1982) such as performance appraisal and salary which are the important determinants of employees’ perceived fairness in the organization (Lawler, 1971). Similarity, Chang and Hahn (2006) define distributive fairness as the perceived fairness of the quantity of compensation that employees received.
Hence, distribution fairness is based on the interpretation of the outcome in a business relationship (Ferrell, 2010) which can be classified into tangible such as salary and intangible such as praise. Therefore, when outcomes are perceived to be equally distributed, the perception of distributive fairness can be fostered as employees compare with other employees of their own ratio of output such as promotion and input such as effort or qualification (Adams, 1965; Greenberg, 1982). When an organization is perceived to be distributively just, employees tend to support of the organization by doing tasks outside the scope of their job description (Charash & Spector, 2001; Karriker& Williams,2009) or in other word, improving perceptions of fairness increases performance (Karriker& Williams,2009).
When people perceive or expect fairness to occur, they may react positively towards the organization and recommend the organization to others, thus building on the positive image of the organization as a potential employer as well as an organization as a whole (Hülsheger& Anderson, 2009). On the other hand, perceptions of distributive fairness are also strongly related also to the withdrawal of employees from the organization (Charash & Spector, 2001) and the relationship between effort invested and outcome received often results in legal issues which can damage an organization’s image (Anderson, 2004; Anderson, 2011; Anseel, 2011).
If employee found out that he or she is being treated unfairly, he or she will be unmotivated to do the work. Suliman (2007) once said that, organizations that distributed the resources unfairly will create argument, disrespect and mistrust among them. It is because employees’ perceptions on distributive fairness are mainly based on comparisons with colleagues. If the comparison comes out with positive result, they will feel positive toward the organization management. Hence, the organization performance will be improved. However, if the comparison is negative, the outcome will become negative too. Therefore, managers must notice employees’ perceptions on distributive fairness as well as procedural fairness since these two dimensions play a main role related to intentions to quit and job dissatisfaction (Dailey & Kirk, 1992). It is very important to make employees feel in part of the decision making when amending appraisal and reward systems. Organization can seek for employees’ opinion when making the changes to show respect to employees.
1.2 Procedural fairness
According to Leventhal (1980) procedural fairness is define as one’s perception of the fairness of procedure components of the system that coordinate allocation process. Rawls (1971) argues that the procedure used is pivotal to the outcome reached and if fair procedure is utilized, principles of justice based on fairness and equality will be an inevitable result. The procedure is referring to the "means" whereby various "ends" are attained. Whether the outcomes are pay raises to be distributed to employees, labor disputes to be settled, or performance evaluations to be recorded, a key determinant of these decisions involves how they are made (Folger & Greenberg, 1985). In short, procedural fairness concerns about the processes through which decisions are made from (Thibaut& Walker, 1975). Thus, this concept is opposite of distributive fairness, which is concerned with the perceived fairness of the content and consequences of those decisions (Walker, Lind & Thibaut, 1979).
Forret and Love (2007) define procedural fairness as the perceived fairness of an organization’s procedures and policies used to determine an individual’s outcomes. It influences a wide range of human behaviors, perceptions, emotions, and across diverse social settings. Leventhal (1980) define procedural fairness as one’s perception of the fairness of procedure components of the system that coordinate allocation process.
Leventhal (1980) and Forret and Love (2007) have identified several similar criteria and perception of procedural fairness. Viewpoints of procedural fairness are related to employees’ morale and trust and they are characterized by solidity in the procedures, accuracy of the information, and free of bias (Forret& Love, 2007). Leventhal (1980) classify six criteria of perception of procedural fairness which are procedures are fair when they are consistency, bias minimization, accurate information, consist of technology gadget for wrong decisions correction, maintain usual concept of morality and the last is it is representative.
Procedural fairness has been found that it able to increase the feelings of being appreciated. Hence, it is very important that procedural fairness is perceived positively in order to an organization to achieve maximum productivity and its strategic goals (Prooijen, 2009). If there is unfair procedures occurred, trust between the employees and company will be low, and therefore employees will have low commitment and motivation (Cremer, 2005).
An organization who wants to have positive outcomes should have a good perception of procedural fairness. Research has showed that there are few benefits of procedural fairness for organizations. A good perception of procedural fairness creates positive attitudes toward management control and hence produces a number of good behavioral reactions (Collett, 2008). It is important for an organization especially in performance appraisal to create harmony among employees in order to increase organization performance.
Organizational researchers found that procedures are perceived to be ‘more fair’ when affected individuals have an opportunity to either influence the decision process or offer input (Thibaut& Walker, 1975; Gilliland, 1993; Muhammad, 2004). The decision making can be included in salary determination or promotion of employees. If procedural fairness is used in salary determination, it will eventually improve the ability of organization to manage the salary determination process effectively (Cloutier&Volhuber, 2007). Bagdadli, Roberson and Paoletti (2006) said that fair promotion decisions influence feelings of organizational commitment of employees. By other words, organizations are able to keep employee commitment when promotion decision making involve procedures fairness and employees will perceive it to be fair.
Furthermore, the extent of procedural rules violated influences the perception of procedural fairness (Gilliland, 1993). Procedural rules, listed by Leventhal (1980) suggest that fair decision should be made without prejudice and grounded with accurate information as well as modifiable outcomes which are in accordance with the related parties’ ethical values.
1.3 Interactional fairness
Interactional fairness is defined by sociologist John R. Schermerhorn (2006) as the degree to which the people affected by decision are treated by dignity and respect when executing procedures and determining outcomes. Therefore, the quality of interpersonal treatment that people receive from authorities during the decision-making procedures is very important (Bies & Moag, 1986; Greenberg, 1993). In other word, interpersonal fairness reflects the degree to which people are treated with politeness, dignity, and respect by authorities and third parties involved in executing procedures or determining outcomes (Colquitt, 2001; Kickul & Troth, 2003; Janssens, Sels & Brande, 2003). This concept focuses on explanations provided to the people that convey information about why procedures were used in a certain way or why outcomes were distributed in a certain fashion (Greenberg, 1993).
The assessment of organizational practices and behavior of authority in terms of fairness does not usually depend on how fairly the employee was actually treated, but rather on how fairly the employee perceives that he or she was treated (Greenberg, 1990). Perceptions of interactional fairness play a role in the determination of employees' work attitudes and behavior (Cohen & Spector, 2001; Colquitt, Conlon, Wesson, Porter & Yee, 2001). Employees do expect their employers to provide pleasant work environment that supports harmonious working relationships (Kickul & Troth, 2003).
According to Greenberg (1993) interactional fairness can be broken down into two fairness which are interpersonal fairness and informational fairness. Interpersonal focuses on treating people with dignity and respect while informational fairness deal with the justifications provided to people. There are four factors that affect perception of employees on fairness of the interpersonal treatment get from the organization (Narcisse & Harcourt, 2008). These factors are the organization is unreliable, interfere employee privacy, make offensive judgments and disrespectful to employees (Narcisse & Harcourt, 2008).
The explanation for interactional fairness in the workplace is grounded in social exchange theory and norm of reciprocity (Cropanzano & Mitchell, 2005), meaning the employees expect fair and honest treatments from the organization. Therefore, employees who perceive fair and honest treatment is proven to have positive impact to the organization via greater commitment, increased job satisfaction and improved job performances (Cohen & Spector, 2001; Colquitt et. al., 2001).
Muzumdar (2011) found that the organizational commitment (loyalty) and work satisfaction are the most affected variables of the interactional fairness system. This showcases that the treatment by a supervisor directly influences the variables of loyalty and work satisfaction of an individual employee. Reward satisfaction is the least affected variable by the treatment by a supervisor. As such, being rewarded could be a reduction in the influence of the treatment given by the supervisor on the employee.
Origin of Fairness
According to Hobbs (2010) fairness started to "appear" in the ancient Greece where Plato raised the debate on justice, but a lot of issues that were raised are the same issue with fairness. In the dialogue, Plato challenged the Athens democrats by saying that it is fair or just by having the same equal voices in the democratic Athens and also goods and power should also be shared equally. However, against Plato’s concept is the oligarchy thinkers who debated that equal voices, goods, or power should be shared proportionally, whether proportional to marriage or statuses in the society. Thus, there should be no equal shares exist in the oligarchy’s concept.
There are several scientific researches on fairness to date. Dr Waal suggested that the sense of fairness might be developed in our genes naturally. Primatologist Frans de Waal and his team found that our closes mammal, chimpanzees do have the same human senses of fairness. This is because there are concrete evidences in evolution that argues chimpanzees are sensitive to unequal distribution of outcomes. Teamwork is shown during hunting, defending territory and distributing foods (Boesch, 1994; Muller & Mitani, 2005).
A clear illustration of sensitivity of chimpanzees in fairness is when the chimps refused to participate in an experiment where their partner received more rewards for the same accomplishment and also refused to accept better rewards when partner receive less (Brosnan, Schiff & Waal, 2005). In the experiment, the researchers need to observe the chimpanzees’ attitude because human cannot ask questions to them. Fairness and reciprocity elements are clearly shown in the animal kingdom as the survival mechanism of animals such as zebra, deer and wolves are through groups where unity is essential to survive (Waal, 2012).
The second scientific research on fairness is done by archaeologist Brian Hayden who uncovers an ancient settlement in Keatley Creek, Canada and uncovered evidence indicating that two distinct classes lived within large pit houses that sheltered several families under one roof. Hayden supports Waal’s research by showing that inequality grew out of the natural variability in human personality traits which are inclinations to be greedy or to share. He found that self-serving individuals were presented with new opportunity with the availability of surpluses of resources in Keatley Creek. They exploited the extra resources to their favor, raising the survival odds of themselves and their successors and simultaneously accumulate wealth and power in societies. Thus, phenomenon enables the rich to redefine the meaning of fairness in the society economically and politically and this process is the repeating itself around the globe,explaining how power has been distributed (Hayden, 2012).
The importance of fairness and ethics to organization and its effects on the organization performance
Fairness is important in organizations because there are a lot of benefits by practicing the concept in the organizations.
The first benefit is the practices of fairness are proven to be able to increase profitability. This is because the connection between fairness and profitability is proven to have positive correlation with each other (Donaldson, 2003). Research found that fairness in organization responsibility is able to increase corporate financial performance (Allouche&Laroche, 2005). Thus, it can be considered as one of the manipulative variable on profitability because fairness and profitability can be the source of major competitive advantage (McMurrian&Matulich, 2011). The competitive advantage is referred to higher levels of efficiency in operations, having firm relationship with the stakeholders and higher levels of customer loyalty and retention (Ferrell 2004).
Another importance and effects of fairness in organization is able to produce high quality of employees as the role of fairness in the workplace can impact heavily on the employee’s attitude and behavior (Greenberg, 1990; Cropanzano& Greenberg, 1997; Colquitt, Conlon, Wesson, Porter, & Ng, 2001). Hence, organizations that practice high value of fairness and justice are able to produce better individual work performance (Cohen & Spector, 2001; Colquitt et al., 2001). Furthermore, these individuals tends to have greater job satisfaction which is very important to increase revenue growth and profitability (Heskett, James, Earl & Leonard, 1997) as high level of job satisfactions are able to generate higher levels of loyalty and subsequently showed by the customers’ behavior such as repeat purchases and referrals of additional customers (Robert & Erika, 2006).
The importance of the fairness and ethics and its effects on society and in general
According to Al-Hassar (2010) found that fairness is the final outcome of the process of the law, whereby fairness is distributed by the State. Based on this definition, fairness is the mechanical process of the structure of law which mean set in place and agreed to by the people of the State. Another definition is concerned with the value inherent in ‘fair’ behavior. One distinction between these two definitions is the difference between an individual viewpoint and the larger view of the society. Either view incorporates the concept of moral judgment: ‘good’ as opposed to ‘bad’ (Al-Hassar, 2010).
Unfairness in our society can be seen in the execution of criminals and whenever there is an execution, the morality of capital punishment usually causes heated debate (Al-Hassar, 2010) althoughmany people believe that the death sentence discourages those who might commit horrible crimes. To these people, they feel that since life is precious, the death penalty helps to affirm this fact. However, Richard (2011) define that a majority of countries in the world has now abandoned the use of the death penalty and he state that a civilized society has no right to put another person to death especially when there is a lack of strong evidence. Most of the industrialized world has abolished the death sentence, because they consider it barbaric. Instead, barbaric or not, the law of the land must be followed even if we do not like the death penalty. Moreover, the officers of the law must always avoid errors of sentencing based on skin color, poverty, class, and political gain. If we create a society in which fairness is not tolerated and racism at play then more incidents of state killing will continue and the law of jungle will take place (Al-Hassar, 2010).
In ancient Greece, fairness was believed to be derived from the order of society—a good society fostered fairness, and fairness fostered a good society. According to Plato (2000) fairness is the bond that holds a society together. Both individualism and personal rights had little to do with the Platonic conception of fairness those appeals even today to collectivists who emphasize the social context of fairness. Fairness was seen as the supreme virtue with respect to our relations with others.
Al-Hassar (2010) also state that fairness must be distributed equally to all members of society in order to live in harmony and peace. Judicial and police officers must not use the law as a shield to insulate their racism, hatred, and political gain. In the eye of the law, fairness must not differentiate between the poor and rich, the weak and the strong. To solve the poverty problem, the state should spend more money on education, employment, and child welfare. The state must give the individual his rightful place of dignity as a free man equal to all his fellow men where he shall have the right to live under a rule of law based on a sense of obligation. In that society, respect for law must be the cohesive force holding it together and not mere obedience based on surrender to the weapons of state power.
The importance of fairness in negotiation
According to Nancy (2010) states that people work to achieve outcomes or allocation of value that they can call fair, and particularly "fair enough to me". We all know people who have offered more than was necessary in negotiation sessions or rejected offers even though they made economic sense. Negotiators rely upon their perceptions of distributive and procedural fairness in making offers and demands, reacting to the offers and demands of others, and deciding whether to reach an agreement or end negotiations. This is because fairness perceptions are significant in understanding people's negotiating behaviors and this essay will examine briefly the criteria that people use to judge fairness in both distributive and procedural-and the variables that influence people's perceptions of fairness (Nancy, 2010).
The impact of procedural fairness perceptions upon distributive fairness is so interesting that this connection merits a bit more exploration. Two theories help to explain this effect of procedural fairness. The first theory, which takes an instrumentalist approach, urges that people value the opportunity for voice because it permits them to influence the final outcome of dispute resolution or decision-making processes (Allan, 1990). It is because they have been invited to express their views, people can be more confident that the final decision will be fully informed and substantively fair. The second theory is called the group value theory, which provides that procedures themselves communicate whether people are viewed as valuable members of the relevant group. The opportunity for voice, consideration, and dignified, even-handed treatment send powerful messages to people regarding their social status, which then "validates their self-identity, self-esteem, and self-respect (Tyler, 2011).
The relationship between codes of ethics and the employee’sperception of fairness in any organization
Ethics is closely related to fairness. Ethics studies are focused on how an employee’s beliefs influence their perception of fairness in the organization. Research on fairness is also concerned with how the situation will influences an employee’s perception in the organization (Schminke, Ambrose & Noel, 1997).
According to Greenberg (1990) people who have experienced being treated unfairly would be more likely to taking some unethical behavior to the organization. For example, if employees perceived that they are being treated unfairly such as pay cut and they will probably taking some unethical behavior such as steal from the organization. Employees who perceive unfairness in the workplace will look for opportunities to increase their own benefit in their own ways and may shift to unethical conduct in order to balance the unfairness that have been done to them (Trevino & Weaver, 2001).
According to Gartenstein (n.d.) ethical human resource policies are also vital when creating and maintaining an ethical culture in an organization. Employees who are treated fairly are more likely to be satisfied with their works. When employees feel that they are being treated unfairly, they will prone to explicit some unethical behavior such as using company resources for personal gain. However, when they are fairly compensated for their work, they will contribute more to the organization and less taking opportunities to exploit situations for personal gain.
On the other hand, when employees perceived that they are being treated fairly such as when top management fairly distribute the resources, they have the intension to preserve well-being of their organization (Manrique, 2010) and reduce their own interest to the organization (Lind & Tyler, 1998). Furthermore, their behaviors also tend to be ethical and in line with the organization’s expectations (McCain, Tsai &Bellino, 2010).
Trevino and Weaver (2001) agree that there is a strong relationship between employee perceived general fair treatment and ethics-related outcomes in an organization. Their study shows that if employees believe that their organization generally treats them fairly, those unethical behaviors will significantly decrease. According to Trevi (2001), employees’ perceptions of being treated fairly not only reduce a broad range of unethical behaviors that may harm the organization, but it can also increase their positive behaviors. For example, employees are willing to cooperate with organization to achieve the organization’s goals by reporting ethical problems to management.
The values that shape an organization to be ethical will influence the relationships between the organizations with its customers. An ethical organization will train employees to treat their customers with respect and to be fair with them. For example, when employees know that such ethical behaviors as an important part of customer services, they will understand the strength of the organization’s obligation to those behaviors. Hence, they will more likely to perform their work accordingly because ethical behavior can inspire fairness (Gartenstein, n.d.).
Fairness Theory: Rabin Theory
Rabin fairness model is invented by Matthew Rabin as a theory to account for fairness in social preferences. The model is developed to examine the implication of fairness in game theory.
The framework of the model incorporates three facts to fairness which are people are willing to sacrifice their own material well-being to help those who are being kind, people are willing to sacrifice their own material well-being to punish those who are unkind and lastly, both first and second fact have a greater effect on behavior as the material cost of sacrificing become smaller. This framework is consistent with psychological evidence which shows that the same people who are kind to other generous people are also motivated to hurt those who hurt them (Orbell, 1978; Marwell & Ames, 1981).
Most current economic model assumes that people pursue only their own self-interest and do not care about others. One exception to self-interest which has received by some attention by economists is simple altruism which is, people may care not only about themselves, but also about the well-being of others, and it has been studied by psychologists as a means of testing the existence of altruism and cooperation.
The first fact which is peoples are willing to sacrifice their own material well-being to help those who are being kind has been extensively researched through laboratory experiments. A classic example is that the attempt to provide public goods without hesitation which departures from pure self-interest can be beneficial to society. The experiment shows that the rate of contribution by individuals to the public goods is close to zero percent (Dawes &Thaler, 1988).
The second fact which is peoples are willing to sacrifice their own material well-being to punish those who are unkind is widely explored in the "ultimatum game" which are conducted all over the world in different culture that shows that humans have the sense of fairness (Landau, 2012).The game is basically about the division of rewards where the rewards are readily to be given between two persons. One of the subjects offer on how to divide the rewards, and the recipient accept or reject the offer. However, if the recipient rejects the offer, none of the rewards will be given. The experiment which was conducted on human shows that generous division is common, either dividing equally half to both subjects or sixty percent to forty percent (Henrich, 2004; Oosterbeek, 2004; Waals, 2012). The second fact is supported when the deciders in the ultimatum game are willing to push unfair offers by rejecting them and proposers tend to make fair offers (Goranson & Berkowitz, 1966; Greenberg, 1978).
The third fact is tested and confirmed by Leventhal and Anderson (1970) which shows that as the material cost of sacrifice is smaller, the first and second fact has greater effect on behavior. Dawes and Thaler (1988) show that people succumb to pursue their interests at the expense of others in proportion to the probability of doing so.
In conclusion, in the game theory, Rabin’s model shows that responsiveness of kindness with kindness and unkindness with unkindness. In other word, Rabin models on how individuals want to be kind to other individuals that are kind to them, and be unkind to other individuals that are unkind to them. Moreno (2007) extend Rabin’s theory which argues that in international relations, countries construct their relations little by little, increasing their trust with kind actions over time. It is reasonable to think that if an individual or a group of individuals are kind or unkind once and again and again, the feeling of kindness or unkindness would grow larger over time.
Fairness Theory: Justice as Accountability
According to Folger and Cropanzano (2001) fairness theory assumes that the social justice is the obligation of responsibility. When people identify an instance of unfair treatment, they are holding someone accountable for an action that threatens another person’s material or psychological well-being. If no one is to blame, there is no social injustice. For this reason, the process of accountability is fundamental to justice. When people determine the fairness of someone’s actions, they are trying to decide whether to hold that person accountable for those actions.
Fairness theory focuses on the implications of accountability for fairness judgments. There have three interrelated components to maintain the accountability in fairness theory. The first component is the presence of an unfavourable condition. In other words, there must be something of an unemotional behaviourin which someone might be held accountable. The second component is the event must be due to the desire and unrestricted actions of the target person whose accountability is assessed. An individual who had no feasible alternatives such as ordinarily are not held any accountable. The third component is harmful actions must breaks some ethical principle of interpersonal behaviour as a normative standard of justice (Folger&Cropanzano, 2001).
For example, a person who is ordinarily such as dentist who bears the responsibility for painful conditions that caused by a tooth extraction does not consider unfair. Although the treatment may hurt the patient in the short run, the dentist has behaved in an ethically fair manner and therefore is not accountable for a charge of unfairness. For a person to be held accountable for unfairness, that person must harm another person by behaving in a way that breaks some ethical principle of social conduct (Folger&Cropanzano, 2001).
According to Folger and Cropanzano (2001), there are three elements of fairness theory which include state of affairs, unrestricted conduct, and principles. The first element means that the implications of actions for the well-being of others. The second element refers to the unrestricted actions capable of affecting others and the third element means that the ethical standards or code of belief used to evaluate the morality of certain actions.These three elements are come from the "triangle" nodes of responsibility which was developed by Schlenker, Britt, Pennington, Murphy and Doherty (1994) and Schlenker (1997).
According to Rupp and Paddock (n.d.) a key component of fairness theory is the notion of accountability. This theory clearly states that unfairness requires an executor. It means that an individual go through a cognitive process whereby they consider if the harm has been done to some party, if someone is responsible for this harm, and if the responsible party hadthe ability to act in analternative way that may avoid the harm. This party’s actions are compared to moral or ethical standards of behaviour. Hence, fairness-related events that occur and cause an emotional reaction with an attribution of accountability toward the party in orderto responsible for the unfair act.
Fairness theory describes howanemotional people response to an unfavourable event (Rupp & Paddock, n.d.). This process pointsout how different types of information are combined to form source-based fairnessjudgments. According to fairness theory, individual seek to answer three counterfactual questions which are would the victim have been given a better outcome or procedure, could the decision maker actdifferently, and should the decision maker act differently?Would, Could and Should are the essential elements of accountability.
According to Folger and Cropanzano (2001)fairness theory is relying on the concept of counterfactual thinking. Counterfactual thinking is referring to the opposite of the facts (Roese, 1997). Counterfactual thinking is implicated whether attempt to understand states, behaviours, or principles. The point of removal for counterfactual thinking could be any event that someone experiences. If the event is important, the person will try to make sense out of it and assign some meaning to theincident.What people add is their own thoughts, interpretations, perceptions, and ideas. In short, they add their imagination. Among other things, they assess what the nature of the experience would have been like if the incident had not occurred or had unfolded differently (Roese& Olson, 1995).