When authorities do things with people, whether reactively—to deal with crisis—or proactively, the results are better. This fundamental thesis was evident in a Harvard Business Review article about the concept of fair process producing effective outcomes in business organizations (Kim & Mauborgne, 2003). The central idea of fair process is that “…individuals are most likely to trust and cooperate freely with systems—whether they themselves win or lose by those systems—when fair process is observed” (Kim & Mauborgne, 2003). 

The three principles of fair process are:

  • Engagement — involving individuals in decisions that affect them by listening to their views and genuinely taking their opinions into account
  • Explanation — explaining the reasoning behind a decision to everyone who has been involved or who is affected by it
  • Expectation clarity — making sure that everyone clearly understands a decision and what is expected of them in the future (Kim & Mauborgne, 1997)

Fair process demonstrates the restorative with domain of the social discipline window. It relates to how leaders handle their authority in all kinds of professions and roles: from parents and teachers to managers and administrators. The fundamental hypothesis of restorative practices embodies fair process by asserting that "people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in behavior when those in authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them." 

Section citation: Wachtel, T. (2016). Fair process. Defining restorative. International Institute for Restorative Practices. https://www.iirp.edu/defining-restorative/fair-process