Date of Conferral
Perception of fairness is a key construct affecting job performance, and perceptions of promotional processes are related to employees' sense of justice in private organizations. In police departments, negative perceptions of procedures can be detrimental to departmental effectiveness. The purpose of this quantitative quasiexperimental study was to compare Louisiana officers' perceptions of fairness of a seniority-based promotion system in relation to Louisiana deputies' perceptions of fairness of a merit-based promotion system. Organizational justice theory, including procedural justice, was the theoretical foundation. The research questions were designed to examine whether seniority, transparency, knowledge of the promotion systems, gender, and race predicted levels of perceived fairness. Data were analyzed using an independent samples t test, a MANOVA, and a multiple linear regression. Participants in the seniority-based system perceived it as being fairer than participants in the merit-based system viewed their merit-based system. There were significant differences in knowledge of promotion systems and perceived fairness for rank and system type, but not race and gender. Collectively, predictor variables correlated with perceived fairness. Type of promotion system was not significant when examined with other variables suggesting confounding of predictor variables. Human resources should make employees aware of promotion procedures. Hybrid systems might help address both employee fairness and the promotion of qualified individuals. Officers viewing promotion as fair could lead to positive social change by motivating officers and positively influencing how they serve the public.