Distributive Justice Index


This measure (Distributive Justice Index) was developed by Price and Mueller (1986). It focuses on assessment of the degree to which rewards received by employees are per­ceived to be related to performance inputs. Performance inputs from an employee include effort, experience, and education. Distributive justice is judged high in an organization when effort, experience, good work, and dealing with stresses and strains of a job are rewarded and their absence pun­ ished. The original items were modified by Mansour-Cole and Scott (1998) to assess the degree of perceived fairness in an employee’s work situation compared with co-workers.


Coefficient alpha values ranged from .75 to .94 (Mansour-Cole & Scott, 1998; McFarlin & Sweeney, 1992; Moorman, 1991; Sweeney & McFarlin, 1993).


Distributive justice correlated positively with job satisfaction, procedural justice, interactive justice, and the organizational citizenship behaviors of courtesy, altruism, sportsmanship, and conscientiousness (Moorman, 1991). Distributive justice also correlated positively with employee sense of control, extent to which an employee benefited personally from a structuring and layoff, leader-member exchange (LMX) with his or her manager, pay satisfaction, employee age, job satisfaction, subordinate’s evaluation of his or her supervisor, and organizational commitment (Mansour-Cole & Scott, 1998; McFarlin & Sweeney, 1992; Sweeney & McFarlin, 1993). Sweeney and McFarlin (1993) found through confirmatory factor analysis that dis­ tributive justice was one dimensional with the items loading as expected. These analyses also found that distributive and procedural justice were empirically distinct. DeConinck, Stilwell, and Brock (1996) found through confirmatory factor analysis that distributive justice was empirically distinct from four dimensions of the Pay Satisfaction Questionnaire (satisfaction with benefits, last raise, pay level and structure, and administration of the pay plan).


Original items: Price J., & Mueller, C. (1986). Handbook of organizational measurement. Marshfield, MA: Pittman. Items were taken from text, p. 124. © Pittman Publishing. Reprinted with permission.

Modified items: Mansour-Cole, D. M., &. Scott, S. G. (1998). Hearing it through the grapevine: The influence of source, leader-relations, and legiti­ macy on survivors’ fairness perceptions. Personnel Psychology, 51(1), 25-54 Items were taken from text, p. 37. Copyright© 1998. Reproduced with permission.


Original items and instructions: Fairness in the following questions means the extent to which a person’s contributions to [the organization] are related.

to the rewards received. Money, recognition, and physical facilities are examples of rewards. Responses are obtained on a 5-point Likert-type scale where 1 = rewards are not distributed at all fairly, 2 = very little fairness, 3 = some fairness, 4 = quite fairly distributed, and 5 = rewards are very fairly distributed.

  1. To what extent are you fairly rewarded considering the responsibilities that you have?
  2. To what extent are you fairly rewarded taking into account the amount of education and training that you have had?
  3. To what extent are you fairly rewarded in view of the amount of experience that you have?
  4. To what extent are you fairly rewarded for the amount of effort that you put forth?
  5. To what extent are you fairly rewarded for the work that you have done well?
  6. To what extent are you fairly rewarded for the stresses and strains of your job?

Modified items and instructions:

In this section, we are interested in how fair you feel your current work situa­ tion is as compared to your co-workers. Responses are obtained using a 5- point Likert-type scale where 1 = strongly disagree and 5= strongly agree.

  1. I feel that my current job responsibilities are fair
  2. Overall, the rewards I receive here now are quite fair
  3. I consider my current workload to be quite fair
  4. I think that my current level of pay is fair
  5. My current work schedule is fair

This content is licensed under a CC-BY license. The CC-BY licenses grant rights of use the scales in your studies (the measurement instrument and its documentation), but do not replace copyright. This remains with the copyright holder, and you have to cite us as the source.

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