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Influence of Different Dimensions of Organizational Justice

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Published: 6th Dec 2019

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Tagged: Psychology


The influence of different dimensions of organizational justice (procedural, distributive, interactional) on organizational citizenship behavior, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, productivity and turnover intentions is a widely researched topic and hence explain the importance of organizational justice in an organization. (Cohen-Charash and Spector, 2001; Colquitt et al., 2001; Viswesvaran and Ones, 2002).

Procedural justice resulted in many positive consequences like job satisfaction, organizational commitment, trust in administration and organizational citizenship behavior (Skarlicki and Folger, 1997). Previous research showed that Organizational trust acted as mediating variable between organizational justice and several outcomes such as job satisfaction, turnover intention, organizational commitment and OCB. (Aryee et al, 2002). A research by Forret and Love (2008) to explore the relationship between perception of organizational justice and non-supervisory employees’ trust and morale showed that perceptions of coworkers were related with distributive, procedural and interactional justice and also had a relationship with trust and morale.

On the other hand injustice resulted in negative outcomes like stress. Among informative, distributive, procedural and interactional injustice, last two types were strongly related with stress while work-family conflict acted as mediator. When employees receive justice treatment in their organization, they are in better position to correctly manage their work and family and it resulted in low stress level. Uncertainty and lack of control are some factors of stress which are nicely handled by fair processes and actions in the organization. (Judge and Colquitt, 2004)

An instrumental model by Thibaut and Walker’s (1975) proposed that as long-term outcomes become more controllable and predictable due to procedural justice therefore it is highly valued. Lind and Van den Bos (2002) stated the key principle of the theory that “What appears to be happening is that people use fairness to manage their reactions to uncertainty, finding comfort in related or even unrelated fair experiences and finding additional distress in unfair experiences” (p. 216).

2.1 Organizational justice:

“The individual’s and the group’s perceptions of the fairness of treatment (including but not limited to allocations) received from organizations and their behavioral reactions to such perceptions” (James, 1993)

2.1.1 Procedural justice:

Folger & Cropanzano (1998, p.26) defined procedural justice as “fairness issues concerning the methods, mechanisms, and processes employed to determine outcomes”

Employees are not only interested in fair outcomes but also interested in fair process for the determination of their outcomes.

“Procedural justice means people’s perceptions of the fairness of the procedures used to determine the outcomes they receive.” (Beron, 2003)

2.1.2 Distributive justice:

Folger & Cropanzano (1998, p.21) distributive justice is “the individual’s perception on whether the gains they earned are distributed fairly. Individuals make judgments on the appropriateness of justice distribution by comparing their outcome to their previous outcomes or to the outcomes of the others”

“Distributive justice means the form of organizational justice that focuses on people’s beliefs that they have received fair amount of valued work-related outcomes. (e.g., pay, recognition)” (Beron, 2003).

A recent meta-analysis found that distributive justice is a crucial predictor of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, OCB and withdrawal behaviors.(Colquitt et al., 2001).

Cohen-Charash and Spector, (2001) found that there is significant association among distributive justice and OCB, trust in organization and manager, satisfaction with job, pay, management, counterproductive behaviors like negative emotions and conflicts.

2.1.3 Interactional justice:

“Interpersonal justice means people’s perceptions of the fairness of the manner in which they are treated by others (typically, authority figures). Informational justice means the people’s perceptions of the fairness of the information used as the basis for making a decision” (Beron, 2003).

According to Aydin & Kepenekci (2008), interactional justice is a compliment of procedural justice. Decision maker treatment is very important for those who are affected by such decision. Decision maker should give respect to others, be truthful, courteous, and ready to give reasonable explanation of his decision and open two way communication.

Rectificatory justice is a way to overcome and correct the faults and shortcomings emerges from distributive injustice. Three basic elements of rectificatory justice are Compensation (compensate the loss or harm to the victim of injustice treatment), Deprivation (to deprive the wrong doer from certain benefits or privileges) and punishment (give punishment to wrong doer). (Aydin & Kepenekci, 2008)

Greenberg (1987) identified four justice principles on which school principals can base their decision:

Parity principal implies equal distribution of duties to everyone and applying rules and regulations to all as per law.

Principals implement Marxian justice principle by giving attention and help to teachers according to their needs like regarding health, child care, gaining higher education and assist them while designing and allocating courses to them.

Competition principle implies that principal allocate such duties to teachers which require certain background, competence, and satisfactory previous performance.

Last principle of justice distribution is equity which require to base distribution on the basis of relative contribution of each person or teacher. But there are some difficulties while applying this principle in teaching because senior teachers rarely take heavy duties and therefore more burden falls on junior young teachers. So this principle is least applicable by principals.

Opinion on organizational justice practices among teachers regarding dimensions of procedural, distributive, interactional and rectificatory justice was taken by Aydin & Kepenekci (2008) from principals of 11Turkish public elementary school. According to their findings school principals distributed justice on the attendance matters, performance appraisal and reward systems, course planning and allocation of students in the classes. Different perception of teachers regarding justice, school size and restriction on rules and regulations from ministry of education were some problems faced by principals while distributing justice. Review of compliance with rules, discussion with teachers to correct injustice acts or mistakes and apologizing were some ways to rectify principal’s injustice acts. Some major consequences of injustice on part of principle were found to be unfriendliness of teacher with principal, gossiping, slow pace of work, condemning principal/administration for unfair practices, de-motivation among teachers, and spread of groundless rumors. These researchers also found that mostly principals use compensation principle as a measure of rectificatory justice.

Fernandes and Awamleh (2006) conducted a research to find the impact three dimensions of organizational justice (procedural, distributive and interactional justice) on job satisfaction and self assessment performance among two groups; the expatriate employees in UAE and UAE nationals. The results of the study revealed that among group of UAE nationals, distributive and interactional justice significantly influenced both job satisfaction and performance although all three dimensions of organizational justice were significantly influenced job satisfaction of expatriates but no dimension of justice influenced self assessment performance of expatriate employees.

2.2 OCB and Organizational justice:

According to Organ (1988) “Individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system and that in the aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization.”

According to Organ (1988) there are five dimensions of OCB i.e., Altruism which means helping co-workers in their tasks at work, Courtesy means give respect to others, sportsmanship is to tolerate less than ideal situations and having positive attitude without complaining, conscientiousness means doing more than minimum role requirement unrestrictedly in the organization, and civic virtue means responsible attitude of the employees towards the betterment of the organization.

There are mainly two broad categories of OCB; OCBI it means behaviors that give immediate benefit to individuals and indirectly are beneficial for organization. OCBO are the behaviors which are overall beneficial for the organizations. (Williams & Anderson 1991 cited in Bogler & Somech 2005).

Relationship of three antecedents of OCB (altruism, conscientiousness and civic virtue) with OCB was studied in the banking sector of Pakistan by Bukhari (2008). Results showed that there was a direct and significant positive relationship between three antecedents of OCB and OCB. An interesting finding of this study was that employees of Pakistan were more concerned with their salary matters rather than to improve image of their organization, it means they lacked civic virtue. But with the passage of time and increasing awareness employees are becoming more committed with their organization and work. Long tenure in organization, satisfaction regarding organization and care for employees are some factors that increases OCBs among employees of Pakistan in banking sector.

A research conducted by Altuntas and Serap (2010) to study the relationship between level of trust and OCB among nurses in the hospitals of European district of Istanbul. Findings revealed that trust level of nurses in their managers and co workers than their institutes, was more than average. In the Organizational Citizenship Level Scale, Conscientiousness resulted from courtesy and civic virtue was the behaviors that were shown most frequently while sportsmanship was shown on average by the nurses. Nurses who trust their managers, co workers and institution were engaged in OCB like conscientiousness, civic virtue, courtesy, and altruism most frequently. Level of Organizational trust that staff had in their managers, co workers, and institution affect the dimension of OCB like altruism, civic virtue, conscientiousness and courtesy but did not affect sportsmanship.

A study was conducted by Oplatka (2009) at fifty Israeli elementary and secondary schools to enrich the understanding about effects of OCB on teachers, their pupils and on their school. Findings of that study revealed that teachers perceive extra role, unrewarded and non-obligatory tasks to have strong influence on themselves (in the shape of feeling of self-fulfillment and job satisfaction at higher levels), on their students (e.g., greater achievements of students) and on their school as a whole (in shape of enhanced and better school discipline and image). Teachers helping their co-workers are only beneficial and positive for their institute when it saves time and money resources of their institute spent on training. But overwhelming devotion of time and effort in helping co-workers and volunteering extra role behaviors may results in neglecting of their own work. It is the context that makes these behaviors positive or negative. Teacher’s OCBs includes giving extra time to the students, teaching in vacation for no extra wages, attending students in non-contact time just to help them, caring for the underprivileged students. When students achieve success from teachers’ OCBs then it gives teachers a sense of self fulfillment, students also show positive and supportive behavior towards such teachers. Performing extra non-routine roles allow them relief from boredom, burnout, and monotonous work. Such teachers are considered as more professionals and respected among their staff and are appreciated. Class discipline increases and pupils learning process is enhanced due to teachers’ OCBs.

There is a relationship between OCB and performance of teachers in Higher Education setting and it results in professional motivation and self confidence among students. There was a relationship between OCB of university teachers and quality of teaching-learning process. (Regoxs 2003 cited in Lara 2008).

Relationship between Teachers’ participation in decision making and its effects on OCBs was examined by Bogler & Somech (2005) while teachers’ empowerment acts as mediating variable. This relationship was tested on teachers of Israeli junior and senior high school. Teachers take on extra roles when they participated in decision making which had a direct impact on their school life and also required them to put extra effort to meet school objectives. Relationship of Participation in decision making and OCB showed that when teachers are involved in decision making whether regarding their class room or school as a whole as an organization, they would more likely to show OCBs towards their colleagues, students and school. Teachers’ empowerment resulted in various positive feelings among teachers like they feel more respected and appreciated by colleagues (status), had more opportunities to excel their skills (professional growth), ability to had direct impact on school life (impact), and feeling themselves effective (self-efficacy). Involvement in decision making motivated teachers to take on extra roles.

Participation in decision making resulted in enhanced sense of fairness and trust among teachers because they can defend their own interest and teachers engaged in OCBs more frequently. Teachers became well-aware of the problems, challenges and work processes than policymakers and administrative staff so teachers should do active participation in decision making to make teaching more successful. (Conley & Bacharach, 1990 cited in Bogler and Somech, 2005).

The effects of fairness and trust in supervisor on the OCB of academicians among public universities in Turkey are examined by Ertu¨rk (2007). Trust in supervisor acted as mediator in the relationship of organizational justice and OCB. All dimensions of organizational justice (procedural, interactional and distributive justice) had significant and positive relation with trust in supervisor and trust in supervisor had strong positive impact on both dimensions of OCB (OCBO and OCBI).When trust in supervisor, as antecedent of OCBO, was added to the equation of organizational justice and OCB, then the effects of all three dimensions of organizational justice on OCBO was decreased to insignificant level. It means that relationship of organizational justice and OCB was fully but differentially mediated by trust in supervisor. On the other hand, the relationship of two dimensions of organizational justice (distributive and procedural) and OCBI become insignificant when trust in supervisor was added as antecedent of OCBI. But relationship of interactional justice and OCBI remained significant although trust in supervisor as an antecedent of OCBI decreased the effects of interactional justice on OCBI. Findings revealed that only interactional justice among other dimensions of organizational justice was the most important source of trust in supervisors. Actions should be taken to promote justice and trust in organization to enhance extra role behaviors. In order to increase high level of trust between manager and employee, manager should clearly write and communicate all procedures and policies before enforcing them.

Lara (2008) conducted a research and data were collected from 270 teachers and 22,599 students at a Spanish public university to examine the relationship between interactional justice (perception of fairness of supervisor treatment) and teacher’s non-task behaviors; OCB and DWB (Deviant Workplace Behavior). DWBs are those behaviors that are against organizational norms and disturb the proper functioning of the institution and its members. Results showed that organizational justice was an antecedent of group commitment and relationship between organizational justice and non-task behaviors except DWB-colleagues was fully mediated by group commitment. Non-task behaviors (except DWB-Organization and DWB-Colleagues) and teaching satisfaction had an association between them.

A research by Dolan et al (nd) showed that OCB is linked with procedural justice while trust acts as a mediating variable. Organizational justice has a strong positive effect on organizational trust and ultimately on OCB. Correlation between OCB and organizational trust is higher as compared to correlation between OCB and Procedural justice. By adding organizational trust in the relationship between procedural justice and OCB , the effect of procedural justice on OCB is reduced. Procedural justice has both direct and indirect effects on OCB through organizational trust because when employees feel that their organization has fair procedures and policies, their trust in that organization increased and they showed more extra role behavior like OCB. It is also revealed that OCB among older employees was greater as compared to young employees.

Chegini (2009) found that if staff of an organization feels a sense of organizational justice, it increases their functional ability and they show OCB. The sample includes employees from all the staff of Rasht governmental organizations (Iran-Guilan) and relationship between five dimensions of organizational justice (named as organizational justice, distributive justice, policy justice, inter-individual justice, and informational justice) and OCB was measured. All five dimensions of organizational justice were positively correlated with OCB. Organizational justice is necessary for the fulfillment of social justice. Strategic thinking, value management, organizational principles and values all are based on organizational justice. As there was meaningful relationship among all dimensions of organizational justice and OCB so it is necessary to make allocation and distribution of resources, policies and procedures making fairly. As a result employees will feel good and respected and show more OCBs.

Williams et al. (2002) stated that employees showed more organizational citizenship behaviors when they perceive justice treatment by supervisors.

Ishak and Alam (2009) conducted a research among non-supervisory employees and supervisors in the banking organizations in Malaysia to see the impact of organizational justice on OCB and effects of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) as mediator between organizational justice and OCB. They found that there was a crucial role played by organizational justice in determination of OCB. They proposed a model in which organizational justice (distributive, procedural, informational, and interpersonal justice) as independent variable, Leader-Member Exchange as mediating variable and 5 dimensions of OCB (Altruism, Conscientiousness, Courtesy, Sportsmanship and Civic virtue) as dependent variable were taken. Results proved that there was a significant correlation between procedural justice, distributive justice and only one dimension of OCB that was Altruism. There was contribution of interactional justice in the performance of altruism and consideration through LMX. But the contribution of procedural and distributive justice for performing OCB among employees was not significant. The results of research by Ishak and Alam (2009) were consistent with Social Exchange Theory and proved that employees were always willing to help their co workers when they perceive interactional justice present in the organization and this pattern of behavior became frequent when subordinate and supervisor had a high quality of LMX as mediator. Supervisors had a strong influence on their subordinates in performing OCB because encouragement and support of supervisors to subordinates in performing their work and giving them feeling of fair treatment leads to the performance of OCBs.

Among employees of five ministries in Putra Jaya city of Malaysia, a research by Asgari et al (2008) proved that transformational leadership behaviors (transformational and transactional) were positively and directly related organizational justice (procedural, distributive and interactional justice) and OCB while LMX, POS (Perceived Organizational Support) and trust acted as mediators.

Transformational leaders are those leaders who motivate followers to do more than what is expected from them. They motivate followers t o strive for a common and collective cause rather than individual cause without expecting any tangible or personal gains and so help in achieving common workplace goal (Bass 1985 cited in Asgari et al 2008).

Results showed that there was highest correlation between 1.transformational leadership and OCB 2. And between trust and OCB. The correlation between distributive justice and OCB was lowest. POS and trust had a strong positive effect on OCB and also were good mediators than LMX. Transformational leadership also had an effect on LMX but LMX had no effect on OCB. There were no significant effects of organizational justice on POS and trust. Good interaction between supervisors and subordinates increases the commitment of employees, OCB among employees and reduce their turnover intentions which ultimately improve organizational effectiveness (Asgari et al, 2008).

On the other hand if supervisors’ attitude towards subordinates is abusive, subordinates become de-motivated and show less OCBs. This fact was proven from the study by Zellars, Tepper and Duffy (2002) using a sample of 373 members and their supervisors of Air National Guard to explore the relationship between perception of employees regarding abusive supervision and employees’ OCB. It was found that there was a strong positive relationship between abusive supervision and OCB among employees who considered OCB as extra role behavior than those who considered it as in-role behavior. In this relationship, procedural justice and OCB role definition acted as mediators. Results showed that employees with high positive affectivity, under less abusive supervision, defining OCB as in-role behavior and held perception of justice, showed OCB more frequently. While subordinates, whose supervisors were abusive, defined OCB as in-role behavior, had unfavorable justice perceptions, were higher in Negative Affectivity therefore showed less OCB. Tepper (2000) said that procedural justice acted as an indicator of social exchange, played a vital role in the relationship between abusive supervision and OCB of subordinates.

In a study of 103 sales representatives of pharmaceutical company by Moideenkutty et al, (2006) in India, it was hypothesized that relationship of procedural justice, distributive justice, communication satisfaction with supervisor and POS with OCB was more positively stronger than with IRB (In-Role Behavior). Results revealed that there was a strong relationship between OCB and communication satisfaction with supervisors. Results of procedural, distributive justice and POS were not significant although they were in the expected trend. Social exchange relationship with supervisor was resulted due to communication satisfaction with supervisor so it leads to better explanation of OCB than IRB. OCB was also related to variables that leads the promotion of social exchange relationship in organization. Relationship of procedural justice and OCB was positive and significant while relationship of distributive justice and POS with OCB was not positively significant which was contradictory to previous research (Organ & Ryan, 1995) that said that perception of fairness leads to OCB.

In addition to organizational justice, Individuals’ attachment styles also have an impact in shaping OCB. This finding is proved from the research of Desivilya et al (2006). Undergraduate students (most with extensive work experience) of North Israel College were the sample of that study. The purpose of that study was to explore the role of attachment styles of individuals in promoting prosocial behaviors and tendencies for OCB in the social exchanges of their organization. Secure attachment styles (low in avoidance and anxiety) were positively related with OCB tendencies and perceptions of interactional justice so it was validation to a general concept that important antecedents of prosocial behavior in organization were formulated by personality factors. Perceived organizational justice also acted as moderator in the relationship between attachment styles and OCB. So from the above literature first hypothesis of this research is:

H1: there is positive relationship between organizational justice and OCB.

2.2.1 Relationship of OCB with job satisfaction, organizational commitment and turnover intention:

A correlation within OCB, job satisfaction, perceived fairness, organizational commitment and leaders’ supportive behaviors was proved through a meta-analysis (Organ and Ryan, 1995 cited in Huang et al, 2004) therefore business to employee benefit (B2E) system has the prospective for improvement in the performance of organization and hence increased organizational value. It was also empirically tested by research that a relationship exists between OCB and experiences of workers with work-family benefit package where POS acted as mediator. According to social exchange theory when people get benefits from the organization’s actions, it resulted in obligation of response from people to the organization and then OCB acts as currency to respond to the organization. (Lambert, 2000 cited in Huang et al, 2004).

A model was suggested by Foote & Tang (2008) in their study conducted among full time employees working in self directed teams at manufacturing concerns and in that model relationship between job satisfaction and OCB was mediated by team commitment in self directed teams. Results explain a significant relationship between OCB and job satisfaction, and between team commitment and OCB. Team commitment moderated the relationship between OCB and job satisfaction because when we added team commitment in that relationship, it become stronger. Job satisfaction was positively and significantly correlated with OCB for committed employees in teams.

Job satisfaction improves the working relationship among workers that leads to commitment in team and ultimately results in higher level of OCBs (Bolino et al., 2002; Wilke and Lanzetta, 1970).

Jain (2009) examined the predictive ability of OCB and EI (Emotional Intelligence) to predict organizational variables among the middle level executives of Motorbike Company of India. According to his findings one dimension of OCB i.e. concern for organizational resources was positively related to sense of attachment and negatively related to conditional continuance commitment which means OCBs help employees to relate with organization in truer sense. OCB not only resulted in less turnover intentions but also enhanced one’s commitment level. Results showed that career orientation, perceived job mobility and work recognition were uniquely predicted by OCB. OCB strongly predicted personal effectiveness, turnover intention, organizational commitment and organizational productivity better than EI did while OCB and EI both were relevant predictors of job satisfaction, general health, vertical trust and organizational effectiveness.

A study was conducted by Junhee, Eunkyung and Sangsook (2009) to see the factors that influenced OCB among nurses. The results revealed that self-leadership, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, transactional leadership and empowerment were some factors that positively influenced OCB of nurses which means that there was a positive relationship between OCB and all selected variables.

H2: OCB is positively correlated with job satisfaction and organizational commitment but negatively correlated with turnover intentions.

2.3 Organizational justice and job satisfaction:

A basic element in employee’s satisfaction and organizational productivity is organizational justice (Aydin & Kepenekci, 2008). Tepper (2000) found that employee’s perception of procedural justice explained effects on job satisfaction when abusive supervision acted as mediator.

A study conducted by Ladd, Travaglione and Marshall (2006) showed that there was a relationship between participation in decision making (PDM) and job satisfaction because job satisfaction increased with PDM. While participation was found to be encouraged with variety of task and work effort. Employees were in better position to influence beneficial outcomes for their organization and for themselves also due to participation in decision making. The more employees were satisfied, the more they want autonomy in their work which means that empowerment resulted in positive attitudinal outcomes.

A research was conducted by Poon and Malaysia (2002) with a sample of different white-collar employees in different organizations to see the impacts of politics (manipulations) in performance appraisal system on job satisfaction and turnover intentions. Results of the study revealed that if employer did manipulation in performance rating on the basis of personal bias or to punish employees, then it lead to low job satisfaction among employees. But if the manipulation in performance appraisal system was done for motivational purposes then it had no effect on job satisfaction.

Past researches showed that Procedural justice also has a relationship with employee satisfaction (Cobb and Frey, 1996; Konovsky and Cropanzano, 1991; Taylor et al., 1995), because when employees observe that performance rating and hence chances of promotion are not based on justice practices but on political and biased motives, and their performance is not truly considered, they become de-motivated and their satisfaction decreased.

A source of motivation for employees is the existence of equitable distribution of rewards means when they observe rewards to be linked with level of work efforts, they feel satisfaction regarding working environment and co-workers which ultimately resulted in favorable attitude of employees towards work group and enhance their morale (Nadler and Lawler, 2007 cited in Forret and Love, 2008).

Chew and Chan (2008) found that there was positive relationship between organizational commitment and some HR practices; challenging assignment, P-O fit, remuneration, recognition. But training and opportunities for career development were not significantly related with organizational commitment.

a comparative study conducted by Fernandes and Awamleh (2006) to measure the impact of three dimensions of organizational justice ( Distributive, procedural and interactional justice) on employee self assessed performance and job satisfaction among UAE nationals and expatriates in UAE. Distributive and interactional justice significantly impacted employee job satisfaction and performance among UAE nationals while job satisfaction of expatriate group was impacted by all three justice dimensions but none of justice dimension impacted self assessed performance of expatriate group. One interesting finding about UAE nationals was that they considered justice as a matter of job satisfaction after a certain salary level and not before this finding was related to Herzberg two factor theory (e.g. Herzberg et al., 1959; Thomas, 2000) according to which hygiene factors including salary fulfilled the minimum employee job’s expectation and dissatisfaction was the result of absence of this factor irrespective of other factors. Gender differences in UAE nationals also had an impact on distributive and interactional justice as there was a significant relationship of males with distributive justice and significant relationship of females with interactional justice. these results were inconsistent with expatriate group while were consist

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