wordcloud-- fair unbiased neutral impartial just nonpartisanScience For Work summarizes research-based evidence that can guide business management decisions, with emphasis on industrial and organizational psychology. Their recent post, Why You Should Consider Fairness When Designing Your Change Management Process, exemplifies the well-researched, practical, and engaging content this non-profit organization provides. The topic, organizational justice, can be difficult to comprehend by well-being professionals for whom organizational behavior is uncharted territory. But Science for Work does a fine job breaking it down. See their infographic (below) followed by my two cents, then head on over to ScienceForWork.com to learn more.

Does Fairness Matter? (infographic about organizational justice) Infographic by Science For Work. Used with permission.

Psychological Contract Breach

There are important correlates between organizational justice and several dimensions of employee wellbeing, including physical health (which isn’t addressed in the Science For Work article, but is in my archived post, Workplace Health, Injustice, and Your Mother). Additionally, there’s another factor — related to organizational justice if not an actual component — that’s monumentally important: Psychological contract breach, when employees feel that an employer is not fulfilling an obligation (or living up to their end of the implicit contract).

These might sound familiar:

  • A new hire takes a job that turns out to be meaningfully different than described;
  • A manager is promised an expansion of staff that is never funded;
  • A team gets their budget cut severely;
  • An employee is relocated from a coveted work environment to one that is less appealing.

These are examples of psychological breach — the kind many of us see everyday. Now, consider:

  • Have you been a victim of psychological breach?
  • Have you been a perpetrator of psychological breach?
  • Have you observed, in yourself or others, a perception of psychological breach that may have been “in the eyes of the beholder”?

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