Justice is one of the key themes in human history. It has been one of the key reasons for individual and societal struggle. Justice is what human society cannot function without. It is the necessary condition in keeping the balance within communities and among individuals. Justice is not only a theoretical concept but a practical way of doing (or not doing) things also. Justice is often related to the courts and juridical system of a state. Yet for me, it is more than just what special institutions like the court or magistrate represent.
In my opinion, justice is what everybody and each institution of society do when it tries to do things right. James Konow defines justice in his article as “the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, fairness, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics” (2003). As we can understand by the definition, justice is not connected solely to the law or any juridical institution. In fact, justice is related to every institution of society and even to each individual when he, or she, decides to live among a community. In a certain way, justice is concerned with the order of things that individuals put in communities and with the following of those rules and regulations, written or not, that the community has established for the purpose of its survival and wellbeing. Throughout history, there have been many philosophical, ideological, or theological tentative of explaining justice and imposing a certain view on societies. Nevertheless, what is important is the fact that, regardless of the type of justice implemented, a society cannot function without justice (Rawls, 1999). The opposite of it is chaos, which dismantles society.
But justice also encompasses the professional aspects of the life of the individuals. By professional aspects, I intend all the labor-related activity of the individual. Here justice does play an important role also. Being a project manager is not easy. It is a job where you have to deal with unforeseen difficulties coming along the road. You have also to build a positive relationship with your team, your staff, and the staff of other teams you have to collaborate. But where does justice fit in this situation?
The way you build your relationship with your team is a matter of justice. What you ask from them, what you require them, what you expect from them and what you give them, – all are a matter of justice. In my opinion, a project manager should be balanced in what he requires from his team and what he gives them in support. Fairness is one of the key concepts in being balanced with your staff. You have to ask them what you know they can achieve and not charge them with tasks that are overdue to their capabilities. As a manager, you should also give full support and work hard along with them the same as you require them. In this sense, being balanced is equal to being just. The same principle should be applied when building relationships with other teams with which you have to collaborate. It is a matter of pretending from others the same level of what you are intending to give. This mode of viewing the collaborators as partners and putting as much effort into the realization of the project as you pretend from them is the way of building successful relationships.
Konow, J. (2003). “Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories.” Journal of Economic Literature 41, no. 4: page 1188.
Rawls, J. (1999). A theory of justice (revised edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.