JOURNAL ARTICLE | Harvard Business Review | 81 | January 2003
Fair Process: Managing in the Knowledge Economy
Reprinted in a special issue of Harvard Business Review: The Best of HBR on Motivation. Vol. 81, N 1, Pp. 127-136. January 2003.Never has the idea of fair process been more important for managers than it is today. Fair process turns out to be a powerful management tool for companies struggling to make the transition from a production-based to a knowledge-based economy, in which value creation depends increasingly on ideas and innovation.Fair process profoundly influences attitudes and behaviors critical to high performance. It builds trust and unlocks ideas. With it, managers can achieve even the most painful and difficult goals while gaining the voluntary cooperation of the employees affected.Without fair process, even outcomes that employees might favour can be difficult to achieve - as the experience of an elevator manufacturer we'll call Elco illustrates.