Pitfalls of administering justice in an inconsistent world: some reflections on the consistency rule

David L. Patient*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The unique legal context investigated by Stein, Steinley, and Cropanzano (this issue) highlights important challenges facing decision makers charged with administering justice in turbulent environments. First, rules may need to be adapted to new information and changed circumstances. Second, consistency over time can compete with altruistic motives, moral convictions, and other important principles. Third, decisionmakers may face demands from multiple audiences to re-interpret a rule in ways that are harsher, more lenient, or otherwise different than previously warranted. Since managers in other organizational settings can also face strong pressures to change over time how they interpret and apply rules, the legal context highlights important aspects of fairness that can compete with consistency over time, and that merit further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1012
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Fairness
  • Judicial sentencing
  • Procedural justice
  • Terror management theory
  • Terrorism

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