Distributive and Procedural Justice scale

Table of Contents


These measures (Distributive and Procedural Justice) were developed by Sweeney and Mcfarlin (1997). The procedural justice subscale uses 13 items to assess the fairness of procedures within an organization, including procedures relevant to assessing and com­ municating performance feedback, solving work-related problems, and promotion processes. Eleven items describe employee perceptions of an organization’s fairness in distributing rewards such as raises, promotions, performance ratings, and general recognition.


Coefficient alpha for procedural justice was .84. Alpha for distributive jus­ tice was .81 (Sweeney & Mcfarlin, 1997).


Confirmatory factor analysis showed that distributive and procedural justice were empirically distinct (Sweeney & Mcfarlin, 1997). Distributive and procedural justice both correlated positively with employee pay level, inten­ tion to stay in a job, job satisfaction, supervisor’s evaluation of the employee, and organizational commitment. Procedural justice also corre­ lated positively with tenure and being male (Sweeney & Mcfarlin, 1997).


Sweeney, P. D., & Mcfarlin, D. B. (1997). Process and outcome: Gender dif­ ferences in the assessment of justice. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 18(1), 83-98. Items were taken from Appendix 1, pp. 97, 98. Copyright © 1997. Reproduced by permission of John Wiley & Sons Limited.


Responses are obtained using a 5-point Likert-type scale where 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree.

Procedural justice items:

  1. I am not sure what determines how I can get a promotion in this organization (R)
  2. I am told promptly when there is a change in policy, rules, or regulations that affects me
  3. It’s really not possible to change things around here (R)
  4. There are adequate procedures to get my performance rating reconsidered if necessary
  5. I understand the performance appraisal system being used in this organization
  6. When changes are made in this organization, the employees usually lose out in the end (R)
  7. Affirmative action policies have helped advance the employment opportunities in this organization
  8. In general, disciplinary actions taken in this organization are fair and justified
  9. I am not afraid to “blow the whistle” on things I find wrong with my organization
  10. If I were subject to an involuntary personnel action, I believe my agency would adequately inform me of my grievance and appeal rights
  11. I am aware of the specific steps I must take to have a personnel action taken against me reconsidered
  12. The procedures used to evaluate my performance have been fair and objective
  13. In the past, I have been aware of what standards have been used to evaluate my performance

Distributive justice items:

  1. Promotions or unscheduled pay increases here usually depend on how well a person performs on his/her job
  2. Under the present system, financial rewards are seldom related to employee performance (R)
  3. There is a tendency for supervisors here to give the same performance ratings regardless of how well people perform their jobs(R)
  4. Under the present system, supervisors here get a few tangible rewards for excellent performance (R)
  5. Performance appraisals do influence personnel actions taken in this organization
  6. My supervisor evaluated my performance on things not related to my job (R)
  7. I will be demoted or removed from my position if I perform my job poorly
  8. My performance rating presents a fair and accurate picture of my actual job performance
  9. I will be promoted or given a better job if I perform especially well
  10. My own hard work will lead to recognition as a good performer
  11. I will get a cash award or unscheduled pay increase if I perform especially well

Items denoted with (R) are reverse scored.

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Mohammed Looti, PSYCHOLOGICAL SCALES (2023) Distributive and Procedural Justice scale. Retrieved from https://scales.arabpsychology.com/s/distributive-and-procedural-justice-scale/. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31575.96163