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Whistle-blowing and the employment relations implications of the ‘Protected Disclosures Act 2014’ in the Republic of Ireland

Abstract

This article explores the introduction of the 2014 Protected Disclosures Act in the Republic of Ireland. It does so by using a justice theory lens to examine the potential for the Act to protect workers who may feel the need to blow the whistle on employer wrongdoings. Data is collected from public records and documents, along with interviews with senior representatives from ‘all’ the social partner agents involved in drafting or contributing to the Act. The evidence suggests that the Act may have limited utility in ensuring fairness and justice for the whistle-blower. In particular, employers appear reluctant to embrace the idea of more legal protections, while cultural stigmas attached to the idea of ‘blowing the whistle’ may inhibit people coming forward. The article contributes to justice theory and employment regulation, as well as whistle-blowing practices, and some recommendations are suggested to improve awareness of whistle-blowing rights for workers.

Open access
Distributive Justice: From Steinhaus, Knaster, and Banach to Elster and Rawls — The Perspective of Sociological Game Theory

Abstract

This article presents a relatively straightforward theoretical framework about distributive justice with applications. It draws on a few key concepts of Sociological Game Theory (SGT). SGT is presented briefly in section 2. Section 3 provides a spectrum of distributive cases concerning principles of equality, differentiation among recipients according to performance or contribution, status or authority, or need. Two general types of social organization of distributive judgment are distinguished and judgment procedures or algorithms are modeled in each type of social organization. Section 4 discusses briefly the larger moral landscapes of human judgment – how distribution may typically be combined with other value into consideration. The article suggests that Rawls, Elster, and Machado point in this direction. Finally, it is suggested that the SGT framework presented provides a useful point of departure to systematically link it and compare the Warsaw School of Fair Division, Rawls, and Elster, among others.

Open access