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CEP discussion paper

Unions and Procedural Justice: An Alternative to the 'Common Rule'


Can unions substitute a procedural justice role for their traditional reliance on establishing a ¿common rule¿? The decline of ¿bureaucratic¿ models of employee management and the rise of performance pay and performance management conflicts with the common rule as management seek to tie rewards more closely to individual and organisational performance. CEP studies of performance pay in the British public services illustrate the potential for a procedural justice role to ensure that such pay systems are operated fairly, otherwise they risk demotivating staff. Evidence is presented to show that employees regard unions as effective vehicles for procedural justice. In this way, management can achieve better operation of their incentive schemes, and employees may experience less unfairness and poisoned work relations.


David Marsden

February 2004     Paper Number CEPDP0613

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's programme.