Adidas Corporation’s Organizational Justice


Organisations are entities whose functionality depends on their constituents such as individual employees, departments, units and policies. There is a need to develop policies in a system that ensures harmony and a fair interaction of the constituents. The manner, in which the organisational resources are shared in the departments or among its employees, plays a vital role in building trust for the organisation.

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Putting in place good structures to designate functionalities and utility of resources is crucial in ensuring that the organisation attains its goals and objectives. Creating a culture of trust, fairness, responsibility, and vision in an organisation is fundamental to achieve organisational justice. Instead of control and monitoring, the organisation ought to make the employees responsible and self driven by adopting just policies. An organization whose employees have internalized its mission and objectives carries is able to fulfil its social responsibilities. The employees deliver to the society a new dimension of its objectives.

The Three Dimensions of Organisational Justice

According to Heraty & Morley (2011), and Cropanzana, Bowen & Gilliland (2007), organisational justice is a three dimensional concept. The first dimension is referred to as the distributive justice that focuses on the results and outcomes. The second dimension is the procedural justice and the third one is the interactional justice. The philosophical conceptualisation of the three dimensions of justice is onto, episteme, and teleo. They describe situations and objects in terms of their present state, processes and the interconnectivity of the processes and outcomes (Tolk 2013; Cropanzana, Bowen & Gilliland 2007).

Conventionally, it is not possible for all employees and stakeholders of a given organisation to be treated equally. Distributive justice looks at the ultimate wage, salary, property, rewards, and punishment that employees receive in the work place. It is not concerned with the reason behind the disparity in the outcome but analyses the final observable indicators (Cropanzana, Bowen & Gilliland 2007). The equity theory is an ancillary that explains the distributive theory.

The proponent of the theory was Adam Smith. He used the theory to describe the unfairness that existed in organisations during the industrial age. The equity theory compares the outcome and input of an individual’s activities in relation to themselves or fellow workers, in linear time (Cropanzana, Bowen & Gilliland 2007). This is explained as O1/ I1 = O2/ I2. O1 is an outcome associated with an employee for a specific indicator at a specific time. I1 is the input associated with an employee for a specific indicator at a specific time.

The ratio O1/ I1 must be compared to the ratio of a different employee or different time of the same employee (Cropanzana, Bowen & Gilliland 2007; Beugre 2007). According to Beugre (2007), the beneficiaries of unequal distribution of resources, results, rewards and organisational outputs are referred to as the exploiter and harm doers. In the same view, those who suffer the inequality are the victims (Beugre 2007).

Pynes (2013) observes equity in terms of internal and external dimensions. Eternal equity compares the wages of employees between organisations that must be in the same industrial scale. Similarly, the employees must have the same job status and responsibility for the comparison to be credible. The second factor is the point method which is reward classification based on points earned on performing rated jobs in an organisation.

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The points may be linked to rate of production or number of extra hours used by an employee for a given task. The third factor is job classification. This kind of equity is obtained based on a job portfolio of the organisation. It should also be mentioned that job classification varies from one organisation to another (Pynes 2013; McKenna & Beech 2008).

Procedural justice refers to the mechanism by which an outcome is attained. These are the steps and the policies that the organisation puts in place to inform its decisions on the allocation of resources, rewards and other organisational benefits (Cropanzana, Bowen & Gilliland 2007). An organisation should put in place measures of determining the output of each employee, each department, unit and the organisation as a whole. This is done by observing organisational goals and how each of the constituents contributes to it (Foot & Hook 2008).

The first step in procedural justice is to develop a model of evaluation. The model should consider all the units and diversities of the organization. The second step involves verification of the constructs of the model. The organization may subject the variable of the model to the input of employees, managers, and professional consultancies on organizational models. The third step involves testing of the model. This can be done on departmental basis or by simulations.

Some models may be tested in a different organization but of similar portfolio. The fourth step involves preliminary evaluations and adjustments. The fifth step is implementation (Laufer 2012; Pynes 2013; Gunnigle, Heraty & Morley 2011). Procedural justice ought to be established on an empirical paradigm rather than hypothetical and conditional processes. The employees and other stakeholders must be able to establish the credibility of the process in an objective manner (Pynes 2013; Foot & Hook 2008).

The process of fairness should consider both the quantitative aspects such as time, frequency, and amount as well as affective aspects such as ethics, norms and reasons. The time frame in which a duty is carried out and the time the employee has served in an organization may affect the process of determining the reward they ought to get (Beugre 2007). Procedural justice also encompasses qualitative features. These are descriptive aspects that relate to the nature of services and products. Organizational structures may also be ascribed to quality of management. Poor managerial structures hamper delivery of justice. Therefore, organizations ought to observe best practices when developing the hierarchy and control mechanisms (Cropanzana, Bowen & Gilliland 2007).

Pynes (2013) is of the view that a procedural justice must be established on a frame of reference. The judgement is done against this standard. If the frame of reference changes, the expected outcome also changes. Standard references may be in form of policies, relations of indicators and formulae. The mechanism of procedural justice may also be applied in the context. The methodology used for a department, or an organisational unit may differ because of job complexity, compensations, internal and external evaluations, prevailing circumstances and entry and exit behaviour (Armstrong 2007; Beugre 2007).

According to Beugre (2007), organisational interactive justice refers to how the individual employees and units treat each other in terms of remarks, attitudes and physical actions. According to Laufer (2012) as well as Schriesheim and Leider (2012), organisational culture determines how employees interact with one another. Employees who understand their responsibilities focus on organisation goals, delivering tasks, and not on their differences.

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Employees ought to treat fellow employees with dignity, courtesy and respect. On the other hand, the management should be able to demonstrate respect for the reports that employees and departments give. In this respect, organisational interactive justice should be able to create a horizontal (between employees) and vertical (hierarchical) order of organisational fairness (Laufer 2012; Cropanzana, Bowen & Gilliland 2007; Gunnigle, Heraty & Morley 2011).

According to Brockner (2011), the interaction among the employees may enable them to overcome the effects of negative outcomes and strenuous processes. An organization that has established a good interactive system creates a communication model that equips employees with information on justice (Schriesheim & Leider 2012).

Culture of trust and responsibility emanates from the rapport that the management and employees have created. They are able to interact at all level while understanding the jurisdiction of responsibility and organizational hierarchy. In the process, the management share with the employees about their rights and how they can be applied for the benefit of the employee and organization. In effect, the organization gets vital information for policy adjustments and preventive measures against injustice (Laufer 2012; Schriesheim & Leider 2012; Torrington, Hall & Taylor 2008).

Interactive justice sets the stage of employees to build capacity, get job satisfaction and create smooth transitional processes. Organizations with generational change rely on the interactive justice system to sustain organizational identity through continued standards of production and service. Recognition, identity and fulfilment reduce labour turnover. Therefore, interactive justice helps in capacity retention (Cropanzana, Bowen & Gilliland 2007; Laufer 2012; Schriesheim & Leider 2012).

Organizations can achieve excellent levels of interactive justice by employing models that promote teamwork and information exchange forum. Working on organizational projects in teams and exchanging information on results of assignment stimulates interdepartmental interaction (Laufer 2012). Gunnigle, Heraty and Morley (2011) observed that although employees have defined responsibilities at the entry level, organizations are able to build their capacity and share skills through internal programs. Information exchange forum may range from sharing information that relates to technical skills of a worker to affective aspects related to emotions and family.

Organizations may also improve policy and service delivery by creating a forum on organizational management. In some organizations, policies are shaped by information derived from direct interaction or proxy. Strategic benchmarking with different institutions also promotes interactive justice (McKenna & Beech 2008; Cropanzana, Bowen & Gilliland 2007; Laufer 2012).

The Approach used by Adidas in Corporate Social Responsibility

Organisations engage in different social responsibilities as a way of giving back to the society. For instance, the Adidas Group has a number of strategic Corporate Social Responsibilities. The first involvement concerns the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry. It focuses on business related to sports supplies, national organisations and manufacturers of sports equipment and accessories. Through this program, Adidas has supported NGOs, saved the children, International Labour Organisation, and UNICEF. The organisations may merge their programs or support directly to a group associated with the organisations that Adidas supports (Adidas Group 2007).

Adidas also engages in Corporate Social Responsibility through the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Through WBCSD, Adidas cooperates with businesses, governments and organisations with programs on sustainable and environmental development. The company may suggest a program and execute it or they may undertake a joint venture on environmental factors.

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Other aspects of sustainable development involve conservations sustainable consumptions, and habitat programs. Adidas also participates in fair trade, educational and youth development programs in different countries. This is done through strategic programs such as innovation and research, design and development, sales and administration, sourcing and production. This is an indication of how complex and detailed-organisational social responsibility may be (Adidas Group 2007).

As Taylor Doherty & McGraw (2007) as well as Cohen (2010) observe, organisations ought to rally their employees on both the core objectives and the Corporate Social Responsibilities. This will help the organisation establish a greater business influence with the stakeholders. As an entity, it should also exhibit attributes of citizenry. This takes the organisation from the legal frame of existence to the social dimension.

Organisations ought to budget for and institute programs that give back to the society in direct ways despite the argument that it may violate the capitalistic perception of maximising on profits. By investing back to the society through CRS, the organisation establishes stronger business connections and builds a stronger brand (Cohen 2010; Taylor, Doherty & McGraw 2007; Armstrong 2007).


In a nutshell, organisations ought to observe organisational justice. This will create a culture of trust, identity and commitment to delivering excellence. Therefore, the organisation has a chance to share with the rest of the society the benefits of its endeavours. Individual employees play a significant role in describing and prescribing the tasks related to social responsibilities. The effects are first experienced at the interpersonal level, departmental and ultimately, at the organisational level.

This culture is critical in social responsibility programs. What is observed at the organizational level is replicated in the society through charity programs. Therefore, organizations ought to observe the institutional best practices besides the commercial objectives. Employees who exude professionalism, confidence and a great sense of social responsibility create an excellent impact on the society. This is also reflected at the organizational level, and in effect the organization develops a stronger corporate customer relation.


Adidas Group 2007, Striving to improve performance, Herzogenaurach, Adidas group.

Armstrong, M 2007, A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, Kogan Page, London.

Beugre, C 2007, A Cultural Perspective of Organisational Justice, Information Age publishing, New York.

Brockner, J 2011, A contemporary look at organisational justice, Routledge, New York.

Cohen, E 2010, CRS for HR: A Necessary Partnership for Advancing Responsible Business Practices, Greenleaf Publishing Limited, Sheffield.

Cropanzana, R, Bowen, ED & Gilliland, WS 2007, ‘The Management of Organisational Justice’,Academy of Management Perspectives, 4, pp. 34-48.

Foot, M & Hook, C 2008, Introducing Human Resource Management, Pearson Education, Essex.

Laufer, A 2012, Mastering the Leadership Role in Project Management: Practices that Deliver Remarkable Results, Pearson Education, New Jersey.

McKenna, E & Beech, N 2008, Human Resource Management; A Concise Analysis, Prentice Hall, Essex.

Pynes, JE 2013, Human Resources Management for Public and Nonprofit Organisations: A Strategic Approach, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Schriesheim, C & Ieider, LL 2012, Perspectives on Justice and Trust in Organisations, Information Age Publishing, Washington.

Taylor, T, Doherty, A & McGraw, P 2007, Managing People in Sport Organisations. Butterworth-Heinemann, London.

Tolk, A 2013, Ontology, Epistemology and Teleology for Modeling and Simulation, Springer, New York.

Torrington, D, Hall, L & Taylor, S 2008, Human Resource Management, Prentice Hall, Essex.

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