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Justice and Reward

Mental Health in the Working World

Various theories deal with the concept of justice. In general, one distinguishes between organisational justice and effort-reward-imbalance.

Organisational justice, also referred to as fairness, is linked to 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 performance, 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 rendered work performance. Detriments to health may occur, 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 correlation with (mental) health and well-being. It also describes their relation 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 based on the state of scientific knowledge.

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