Drawing on scholarship in the fields of vocational and industrial/organizational (VIO) psychology, we propose a definition of social justice and assess progress and problems in achieving it. Using a critical psychology lens, we find that the historical focus on higher-income settings and workers with relatively privileged status reflects the neoliberal underpinning implicit in most VIO psychology. We identify six marginalizing conditions which act at macro levels to perpetuate the status quo and restrict progress toward social justice: group bias, forced movement of people, poverty, unemployment and precarious work, lack of decent work, and neoliberalism. We highlight the importance of unpacking issues of context, power and perception implicit in extant research, and draw attention to the multiple ecological levels across which social justice operates. Attending to these issues, a set of recommendations and agenda for future research are proposed which challenge the field to 1) extend the scope of the locations and ecological levels at which research and practice are carried out, 2) highlight who is and is not served and benefitted by research and practice, and 3) question the underlying values and ideological assumptions of existing VIO research and practice. We call for greater critical consciousness amongst VIO psychologists in order to ensure the relevance and benefit of our research and practice for all workers around the globe.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh Business School
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2020


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