What is the relationship between justice and morality?

Robert Folger, Russell Cropanzano, Barry Goldman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

193 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the relationship betxoeen injustice and moral accountability. Building on multidisciplinary theory and research, we argue that the sense of fairness is grounded in basic ethical assumptions of normative treatment. The sense of injustice, therefore, often involves holding someone accountable for a deliberate transgression of acceptable conduct. We term this the deontic response. As a result of the close link between injustice and immorality, the deontic response includes strong emotions and behaviors that may at times transcend individuals' short-term economic interests. In order to fully explicate these ideas, we first review the basic antecedents of moral principles and why their violations can evoke powerful but predicable emotional responses. Next, we discuss the five key attributes that define the deontic response. Afterwards, we review fairness theory, a model of justice that specifically incorporates the deontic response. Based on this, we conclude our chapter by considering the implications of the deontic response for interacting individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Organizational Justice
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9781134811021
ISBN (Print)9780805842036
StatePublished - May 13 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Psychology


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