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Justice and Reward

Mental Health in the Working World

Various theories deal with the definition of justice. In basic terms, a difference is made between organisational justice and an effort-reward-imbalance.

Organisational justice, also referred to as fairness, is linked with the topic of social interaction. Goods or development opportunities are distributed reasonably and impartially to participating individuals or groups. In this respect, justice means dealing fairly with one another, primarily between the management level or the direct line manager and the employees.

An effort-reward imbalance occurs if, after commitment has been displayed, the expected reward fails to materialise or turns out to be inadequate. This model is based on the idea of reciprocity: an adequate reward in the form of wages or salary, security, promotion and/or appreciation is expected for the work that has been done. Detriments to health are possible if there is an imbalance between effort and reward.

Current state of knowledge

A scoping review by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health summarises the state of scientific knowledge concerning justice and reward. It focusses on both organisational justice and on effort-reward-imbalance, and considers their correlations with (mental) health and well-being. It also describes their relations to motivation, job satisfaction and performance. In addition, the review reveals research gaps and discusses options for designing this factor.

The project "Mental Health in the Working World"

The scoping review on justice and reward is part of the project "Mental Health in the Working World - determining the current state of scientific evidence". The project assesses mental load factors by means of the state of scientific knowledge.

For further detailed information please refer to our German Website.