The majority of Jonathon’s current research work is centred on organisational justice, and he currently has two main projects; the first involved carrying out a large-scale survey in collaboration with a colleague from the University of East Anglia, surveying their distance-learning MBA students, of whom there are several thousand globally. This study examined a number of MBAs' attitudes toward their careers, their career management and their career development, and in particular the role of line managers or supervisors in supporting their career development and how justice perceptions might have a role in explaining their views of and reactions to these dyadic management relationships. This study built on earlier work on mentoring and draws on recent work that suggests that the role of the line manager is central in delivering a lot of HRM and career support.
The second area in which Jonathon is currently working, albeit in its very early stages, involves collaboration with Professor Pawan Budhwar and Dr. Charmi Patel and examines justice issues in boundary-spanning relationships in international joint ventures, using a case study of a JV between a Greek and an Indian organisation. The focus of the study examines the meaning of justice in this context, and draws on inter-organisational justice and the effects of cross-cultural influences on peoples’ perceptions of justice in terms of the way the JV partnership progresses.
Jonathon’s passion for organisational justice, ethics and morality originates in his doctoral work which was around justice. Having previously worked as a manager in a large retail company Jonathon felt that fairness was the primary position of most employees, and that when asked to talk about negative or positive experiences, whether or not they overtly mentioned it, what it all came down to was fairness, and their language terms soon became defined by this. In the end, most issues seem to hinge on employees’ judgements of fairness - whether it was about pay decisions, workload, promotion decisions, working hours, roles or whatever it was. This led Jonathon to form the opinion that issues of fairness and justice are probably the most important aspects of work for most individuals, and anecdotally it is certainly how they react to decisions, policies and procedures with which they disagree. This highlights the need for all organisation to aspire to fairness and justice and to understand and respect peoples’ rights to be treated fairly and in a just manner.
Jonathon anticipates that most of his research will underpin concepts of justice and fairness in HR policy and practice, and how fairness can be supported and developed by organisations. This is the perspective Jonathon tries to take when seeking to understand the impact that certain HR policies and practices have on people; he has been involved with other projects that look at justice issues in performance appraisals, in careers and career management and workplace entering programmes. He feels that what becomes clear is that when developing HR policy and practice it is vital that organisations keep issues of fairness central to all their decisions, and produce employee rules and guidelines that promote fairness, whatever the area of HRM.
Joint ventures and their management also raise the necessity for JV Teams and the senior management teams in JV work to be made up of the right people with the right attitudes to JVs, so there are selection, recruitment and development issues around members of these teams to ensure this.
In the short term, Jonathon has several papers in progress, one of which is currently under review, which discuss the study of the MBA students mentioned above, and Jonathon’s focus is ensuring these come to fruition. He will be concentrating on a number of projects including editing a Special Issue for Human Relations Journal, on Justice and Ethics at Work which is due out in March next year. He is also editing a book that also has a deadline of early next year, in which he is writing a chapter, again on justice and ethics. Over the next year Jonathon will be also working on the quantitative analysis of the new study into the Greco-Indian joint venture, with the aim to highlight anything of interest that emerges to enable a substantial bid for funding to be made to support the expansion and development of this study. Read more on Jonathon's profile page.