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The Ajax DilemmaJustice, Fairness, and Rewards$
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Paul Woodruff

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199768615

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199768615.001.0001

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The Fairness Trap

The Fairness Trap

Chapter:
(p.120) The Fairness Trap
Source:
The Ajax Dilemma
Author(s):

Paul Woodruff

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199768615.003.0012

This chapter first explains why fairness is a trap. Once you commit yourself to fairness you must submit to it. You are no longer in control because you have waived the right to exercise good judgment. Fairness is like a machine into which you put the facts; then out comes a result, which is predictable by all concerned, and which you cannot change without creating an annoying sense that you are unfair. The discussions then turn to the difference between fairness and justice; and the zone where fairness must be zealously preserved, the center of which lies equal pay for equal work. The chapter also demonstrates how fairness does not in itself support morale nor help with rewards. In fact, insisting on fairness may even make things worse.

Keywords:   fairness, justice, equal pay for equal work, moral, rewards

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