Workers’ Perceptions of Fairness in the Workplace

The Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET) conducted a study titled Korean Occupational Consciousness and Vocational Ethics (2022). For this issue brief, 2,904 full-time workers aged 15 to 64 were selected as sample data. Participants evaluated the fairness of others (co-workers) and themselves in the workplace using a 7-point Likert scale. Perceptions of workers’ fairness were analyzed by gender and educational level. The result revealed that workers perceived that they (5.10 on average) were fairer than their co-workers (4.18 on average). Next, workers’ perceptions of fairness were converted to an index ranging from -6 to +6. The result showed that female respondents thought that they were fairer than their coworkers and their male counterparts. In terms of education, respondents who attained higher levels of education tended to perceive that they were fairer than others. Based on the results, suggestions were made that enterprises and businesses should cultivate cultures where workers form the right concept of fairness and practice work ethics in the workplace. For this to happen, they should provide their employees with appropriate training programs and establish a system in which workers can fairly process their jobs.