Piet Hermkens, born in Grubbenvorst, the Netherlands in 1942. Ph.D. from Utrecht University. Associate Professor of Sociology at Utrecht University.
Fellow (1 September 1995 – 30 June 1996)
During my stay at NIAS I elaborated analyses on attitudes towards social inequality and distributive justice. I analysed trends concerning these attitudes in the Netherlands during the period 1976 – 1994. Using international data sets I analysed the influence of cultural and structural processes on justice evaluations in East European and western countries. The results will be published in various articles and a chapter in a book.I co-edited a book on “Research on Pay and Reward Management” and elaborated the possibilities of the use of vignettes in surveys.
However, the most important progress for me in the NIAS year has been the opportunity to think through new research projects. I concentrated on the link between social comparison processes and justice evaluations. One of the most important frame of references is the context of the workplace. In this context two types of justice may be distinguished: distributive justice (referring to the perceived fairness of the amounts of compensation employees receive) and procedural justice (referring to the perceived fairness of the procedures used to determine those amounts). Both types of justice play a — sometimes conflicting — role in allocating jobs (the initial assignment of new employees and the promotion, transfer, or demotion of present employees) as well as in decisions about lay-offs and job termination. My central concern in a new project that was started in 1996 will be to specify and test under what conditions distributive and procedural criteria play a role in the justice evaluation of allocation processes in organisations. In this way the NIAS year has been extremely fruitful for me and I benefitted a lot from the exciting discussions with my fellow-fellows and from the services of the NIAS staff and their creation of a good working atmosphere.