Managing careers and managing fairness : an organisational justice theory perspective on employee evaluations of, and reactions to, organisational career management practices

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis presents the results of a multi-method investigation of employee perceptions of fairness in relation to their career management experiences. Organisational justice theory (OJT) was developed as a theoretical framework and data were gathered via 325 quantitative questionnaires, 20 semi-structured interviews and the analysis of a variety of company documents and materials. The results of the questionnaire survey provided strong support for the salience of employee perceptions of justice in regard to their evaluations of organisational career management (OCM) practices, with statistical support emerging for both an agent-systems and interaction model of organisational justice. The qualitative semi-structured interviews provided more detailed analysis of how fairness was experienced in practice, and confirmed the importance of the OJT constructs of fairness within this career management context. Fairness themes to emerge from this analysis included, equity, needs, voice, bias suppression, consistency, ethicality, respect and feedback drawing on many of the central tenants of distributive, procedural, interpersonal and information justice. For the career management literature there is empirical confirmation of a new theoretical framework for understanding employee evaluations of, and reactions to, OCM practices. For the justice literatures a new contextual domain is explored and confirmed, thus extending further the influence and applicability of the theory. For practitioners a new framework for developing, delivering and evaluating their own OCM policies and systems is presented.
Date of Award2005
Original languageEnglish


  • Managing careers
  • managing fairness
  • organisational justice theory
  • employee evaluations
  • organisational career management practices

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