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This paper provides a historical review of the conceptualization and measurement of organizational justice. We demonstrate how, over time, a dominant norm for conceptualizing and measuring justice has emerged. We posit that although consistent conceptualization and measurement across justice studies can enable the accumulation of knowledge, if the dominant approach is incomplete, this can impede the accumulation of knowledge and risk construct reification. We suggest that these risks are high given that: (a) contemporary approaches to measuring fairness perceptions fail to capture the full domain of organizational justice as it was initially conceptualized by early scholars; (b) despite a foundation of "classic" theories, our field has yet to systematically map the justice domain; and (c) the normative operationalizations of organizational justice are based on observations that predate the 21st century workplace. We offer suggestions for future research and new approaches to assessing workplace fairness. Our paper's goal, ultimately, is to reconsider how justice is conceptualized and measured so that the findings obtained from future empirical justice studies can go beyond the constraints of the current paradigm.
- Received October 1, 2014.
- Revision received February 26, 2017.
- Accepted March 7, 2017.