Justice as responsibility for the others: A Levinasian critique on organizational justice
Keywords:Justice, Responsability, Levinas, Organization, Ethics
This study aims to investigate how justice can be effective in restoring situations of injustice, particularly when they are caused by damaged or broken relationships in organizations, as inspired by principles of compassion, empathy, or mercy. In particular, we look for a convincing philosophical foundation for justice, proposing Levinas’ ethics of responsibility as a way to explain it.
The research question of this study originates from recognizing the importance of the normative dimensions of restoring justice. We argue that a notion of justice inspired by responsibility for the others can promote an organizational climate where people tend to forgive and reconcile each other instead of seeking personal vengeance, which often escalates out of control, creating unproductive conflicts. Justice under a Levinasian approach can bring also better relationships among organizational members, and a general better perception of workplace justice, so positively influencing also the likelihood of resolving workplace conflict.
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