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Wan, H. L. (2011). The Role of Leader-Member Exchange in Organisational Justice: Organisational Citizenship Behaviour Relationship, Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, 19(2), 71-91.
The Role of Leader-Member Exchange in Organisational Justice: Organisational Citizenship Behaviour Relationship
Perceptions of justice in the workplace are widely recognised as an influential factor in employee attitudes at the workplace. Employees are more likely to exhibit organisational citizenship behaviours if they perceive that their supervisors personally treated them fairly. Examining the relationship between organisational justice, leader member exchange (LMX), and organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB) from a sample of 267 employees in the manufacturing sector it was found that interpersonal justice tended to be a stronger predictor of OCB. Interpersonal justice correlates significantly with courtesy, altruism and conscientiousness. Though all dimensions of organisational justice correlates positively with LMX, informational justice appears to be most significant. LMX has a significant relationship with all dimensions of OCB except sportsmanship, which correlates positively with age. However, when the influence of justice had been controlled, the effect of LMX on OCB is restricted to altruism and conscientiousness. Thus, it can be concluded that even though LMX may be related to OCB, organisational justice, in particular, interpersonal justice, seems to have a stronger influence on OCB.
Research on organisational justice has focused more on job attitudes rather than on organisational behaviours (Greenberg 1990). OCB is believed to make an organisation more effective over time and across people (Organ 1988a), the interactive effects of organisational justice, and OCB have the potential to make a contribution to the sustainability in the manufacturing sector in Malaysia’s effort to achieve Vision 2020. Indeed, the spiralling effects of negative work attitudes, maintaining organisational justice may be imperative for the wellbeing of organisations, and it is, therefore, vital that organisations formulate human resource practices that promote fair treatment of employees and train supervisors in the fair enactment of these practices.
Organisational justice concerns three distinct, but related components of justice, namely; distributive, procedural, and interactional justice — informational justice and interpersonal justice. Distributive justice is established in literature on equity theory (Adams 1965) and refers to the fairness of decision outcomes. Procedural justice concerns perceived justice of the decision making procedures used to determine the distribution of the outcome and is grounded in dispute resolution models (Thibaut & Walker 1975, Leventhal 1976, Kim & Mauborgne 1997). Interactional justice relates to the perceived quality and equity of the interactions between recipient and the decision maker (Ramamoorthy & Flood 2004). Specifically, informational justice focuses on the perceived fairness of communication while interpersonal justice is the interpersonal treatment that employees received from the employers, the organisation and the superiors. In essence, employees are more likely to exhibit OCBs if they perceive that their supervisors personally treated them fairly.
In an organisational environment employees use economic exchange and social exchange to view their relationship with the organisation (Blau 1964). Comparatively, employees are more likely to be in a reciprocal social exchange relationship with the organisation as OCB is reflected more in social exchange (Organ & Konovsky 1989). People are more likely to shift to more economic exchange views if their perception of justice is low. For instance, when employees feel that they are treated unfairly, they are encouraged to restore equity by containing extra role behaviour, whereas they reciprocate with discretionary behaviours when they are treated fairly (Organ 1997). As far as organisational justice is concerned employees are more likely to view their relationship with the organisation as one of social exchange. Thus, social exchange is more important than economic exchange to the use of OCB (Organ 1988b, 1990, Organ & Konovsky 1989).
The significant importance of the manufacturing sector to the gross domestic product of the country is the primary rationale for the focus on the sector. To enhance sustainability not only is it imperative to have industry captains of high calibre, but also, employees who perceive the organisation as a place with which they want to be associated. The presence of OCB among employees is likely to enhance succession management and improve organisational performance, however, due to the hazardous nature of the work environment in the manufacturing sector, instilling OCB would probably be more challenging, comparatively. Additionally, perceptions of organisational injustice may further dampen the spirit of OCB and probably result in much discontentment among employees. This condition is likely to lead to lower job satisfaction, which is further aggravated by poor LMX relationship. Such discontentment cascades into a lackadaisical attitude among those affected, which then translates into undesirable work attitudes. Based on the theory of reasoned action, behavioural intentions are much dependent on attitudes and subjective norms. Undesirable attitudes lead to adverse behavioural intentions, that may affect the bottom line of an organisation. Moreover, the growing competitiveness of the manufacturing sector makes OCB an important facet that is worth considering.
This study explores the concepts of organisational justice and OCB in the manufacturing sector in Malaysia and implications to the Malaysian economy. Though research on organisational justice and OCB has been comprehensively carried out in other countries, the objective of this study is to test if what is observed in the justice literature, that would be applicable in the Malaysian manufacturing environment. Specifically, the paper examines the effect of each component of organisational justice on LMX, and the five dimensions of OCB; namely, courtesy, sportsmanship, altruism, civic virtue, and conscientiousness. Considering the multiracial context of Malaysia, the findings from the study are likely to add to the gaps in the present knowledge. The paper has three main stages. First is an analysis of whether perceptions of organisational justice and LMX are primary antecedents of OCB. Second, the study tests whether organisational justice influences LMX. Finally, the study assesses whether perceptions of organisational justice influence the relationship between LMX and OCB. A discussion and conclusion provides relevance for HRM policies and practices in the Malaysian context.
Organisational Justice and Organisational Citizenship Behaviours
One of the predictors of OCB is the perception of organisational justice (Dittrich & Carrell 1979, Scholl, Cooper & McKenna 1987, Organ & Konovsky 1989, Farh, et al. 1990, Konovsky & Folger 1991, Moorman 1991, Niehoff & Moorman 1993, Konovsky & Pugh 1994, Organ & Ryan 1995, Moorman, Blakely & Niehoff 1998, Organ & Paine 1999, Podsakoff, et al. 2000, Cohen-Charash & Spector 2001, Colquitt et al. 2001, Williams , Pitre & Zainuba 2002, Erturk 2007). Perceived organisational justice and OCBs have frequently been studied separately (e.g., Sheppard, Lewicki & Minton 1992, Skarlicki & Folger 1997, Allen & Rush 1998, Chen, Hui & Sego 1998,), as well as in conjunction with each other (e.g., Moorman 1991, Ball, Trevino & Sims 1994). Ball, Trevion and Sims (1994) in their study on the effects of perceived unjust punishment on OCBs found that subordinates tend to engage in OCBs and avoid anti citizenship behaviour when perceived organisational justice is high. Moorman (1991) argued that employees may reciprocate by displaying OCB if employees perceive a culture of fairness that leads to global organisational evaluations. However, this investigation was limited to interactional justice and OCBs, akin to the work by Skarlicki and Folger (1997). In addition, meta analytic data shows positive correlations between both procedural and distributive justice and OCB (Folger 1987, Konovsky & Organ 1996, Farh, Earley & Lin 1997, Cohen-Charash & Spector 2001, Colquitt, et al. 2001, LePine, Erez & Johnson 2002, Moorman & Byrne 2005). OCB would probably be more enhance if employees perceived that they receive fair treatment from their organisations. Fair treatment would likely encourage employees to engage in unrewarded, extra role behaviours that are beneficial to the organisation (Eskew 1993). Thus, organisational justice is able to elicit citizenship behaviours in many cases and citizenship behaviours are the mainstay in many organisations with high organisational justice.
Studies on perceptions of distributive justice on OCB focused mainly on professional employees (Giap, et al. 2005). Perceptions of fairness will affect OCB only after perceived inequity (Folger 1993). Past research ascertain that perceptions of job equity and pay equity are significantly correlated with extra role, discretionary behaviour (Dittrich & Carrell 1979, Scholl, et al. 1987). Similarly, Organ and Ryan (1995) found fairness in pay was associated with both the altruism and generalised compliance factors of organisational citizenship. While Moorman (1991) asserted that employees who perceive unfairness are likely to limit their commitment to citizenship, whereas employees who perceive equity will contribute to the system through continued citizenship. Furthermore, Leow and Khong (2009) confirmed that organisational justice and LMX are positively related to affective normative commitment, and continuance commitment was significantly predicted by the contribution of LMX. Additionally, Kandan and Ali (2010) assert that LMX and OCB are significantly correlated.
Studies on the relationship between procedural justice and OCB have found a robust relationship between perceptions of procedural justice and OCB. Konovsky and Folger (1991) reveal a correlation between procedural justice and altruism, while Farh, Podsakoff and Organ (1990) contend that procedural justice accounts for unique variance with respect to altruism dimension of OCB. Similarly, studies show a positive relationship between procedural justice and four OCB dimensions, namely; altruism, courtesy, sportsmanship, and conscientiousness (Moorman 1991, Niehoff & Moorman 1993). Moreover, Tepper (2001) conceived that the correlation between procedural justice and OCB is stronger for people who define OCB as extra role than for those who define OCB as in role. In addition, Tansky (1993) posits that procedural justice and fair treatment from managers and supervisors seem to be the most important component to the relationship between justice and OCB. Elsewhere, Robinson and Morrison (2002) have argued that employees are less likely to engage in civic behaviour if they perceive employers had failed to fulfill employment obligations.
Lind and Tyler (1988) reiterate that procedural justice is important in determining factors that are inherent to OCB. In organisational commitment and trust in supervisors (Folger & Konovsky 1989), and trust in management and rating supervision (Alexander & Ruderman 1987) were better predicted by procedural justice. Konovsky and Cropanzano (1991) advocated that procedural justice was not only positive influence organisational on commitment and loyalty, but also, the possibility of fair future treatment from that organisation. Fair procedures move people to support the needs of the group and augment OCB (Moorman & Blakely 1995), and parallel studies found that procedural justice was an antecedent of perceived organisational support, which consequently, fully mediated the relationship to OCB (Moorman, et al. 1998, Materson, et al. 2000). In essence, positive perceptions of procedural justice augment a reciprocal relationship with the organisation.
Perceptions of interactional justice are instrumental in predicting OCB (Greenberg 1990, Moorman 1991, Williams, et al. 2002). Moorman (1991) contended that interactional justice is the sole dimension of fairness to significantly relate to OCB. Giap, et al. (2005) stress that though there is a correlation between OCB and organisational justice the only significant correlation is that between altruism and interpersonal justice. This notion indicates that individuals would like to do extra role work to help when their supervisors treat them respectfully. Greenberg (1990) observed that employees resort to non OCB (commit theft) to fulfill contractual obligations if no explanations or apologies were offered for the unfair treatment.
In accordance with the agent system model presented by Masterson and colleagues (2000); Lazar, Zinger and Lachterman (2007) affirm that interactional justice is related to OCB that is directed at the supervisor. Tansky (1993) confirmed that the quality of supervisor subordinate relationship was positively related to the five dimensions of OCB. Additionally, DeConinck (2010) asserts that in order to increase interactional justice, it is imperative for the supervisor to explain the procedure as well as to take questions from the employee regarding the process. The supervisor has to ascertain that employees perceive the procedures as impartial. Enhanced employee’s trust in supervisor induces employees to reciprocate with increased OCB (Konovsky & Pugh 1994) and employees are likely to engage in civic behaviour if fairness is perceived (Robinson & Morrison 2002). Furthermore, Erturk (2007) verified that all dimensions of justice are significantly and positively related to trust in supervisor, which has strong positive influence on OCBs that both benefit the organisation and the individuals. Studies by Giap, et al. (2005), and Erturk (2007) attest that trust in supervisors mediates the relationship between organisational justice and OCBs. Moreover, Dirks and Ferrin (2000) further confirm that trust in organisation correlates positively with OCB. Therefore, the relationship proposed is expressed as hypothesis 1.
Hypothesis 1 Organisational justice is positively related to the dimensions of OCB.
Organisational Justice, Leader Member Exchange and Organisational Citizenship
In the workplace the superior’s interaction with the subordinates is unavoidable and it is imperative that both parties form a quality relationship to enhance harmony at the workplace and other organisational phenomena as employee perceptions of organisational justice are likely to affect the quality of LMX relationship. Conversely, Bolat (2010) asserts that the quality of LMX influence employees’ perceptions of distributive justice, procedural justice, and interactional justice. Hence, the perception of fairness promotes social exchange relationships between employees and their supervisors (Organ, 1988a), which can lead to employee citizenship behaviour. Based on the norm of reciprocity (Gouldener 1960), employees are likely to reciprocate by exhibiting OCB (Organ 1988a, Van Yperen, den Berg & Willering 1999) when employees perceive that their supervisors are treating them fairly. If the perception of organisational justice is high, there is a likelihood that subordinates would place more trust in superiors, and hence, improve the LMX relationship (Korsgaard, Schweiger & Sapienza 1995, Aquino, Griffeth, Allen & Hom 1997, Kim & Mauborgne 1998, Naumann & Bennett 2000). Independently, Dansereau, Graen and Haga (1975) maintain that LMX relationships are characterised by mutual trust, respect, liking, and reciprocal influence. Moreover, Ishak and Alam (2009) indicated that interactional justice contributed to the performance of altruism and consideration through leadermember exchange.
Interactional justice, which focuses on interaction with the supervisor, is linked to supervisory trust (Moorman, et al. 1998, Ambrose & Schminke 2003, Hopkins & Weathington 2006, Roch & Shanock 2006, Stinglhamber, et al. 2006), a position advanced by DeConinck (2010), reiterates the link between interactional justice and perceived supervisor support and supervisory trust. To enhance interactional justice the supervisor has to explain the procedures involved, ascertain employee perceptions of the procedures, communicate with the employee, make timely decisions, and tailor decisions to meet the specific needs of the employee. Thus, it is important that interactional justice in a subordinate supervisor relationship is high to combat counterproductive work behaviour while perceived interactional injustice holds the potential to create resentment towards the supervisor or institution (Aryee, Chen, Sun, & Debrah 2007) and reduce the effectiveness of organisational communication (Baron & Neuman 1996).
Procedural justice increases employee’s trust in supervisor, and hence, OCB (Konovsky & Pugh 1994, Aycan 2001). Some empirical studies found that procedural justice affects trust (Lind & Tyler 1988, Folger & Konovsky 1989, McFarlin & Sweeney 1992), and employees trust in their superiors would probably be higher if their superiors were more procedurally fair (Konovsky & Pugh 1994, Brockner & Siegel 1996). Additionally, Brockner, Siegel, Daly, Tyler and Martin (1997) found that trust based on procedural justice interacts with outcome favourable to influence employee’s reactions, and in social exchanges trust is an important element for sustaining a continuous relationship that can be exercised when an employee perceives that a decision is fair, the employee will assume that future decisions will be fair. Thus, mutual reciprocation over time will augment quality LMX relationship and may instigate OCBs. Trust in supervisors involves day to day interaction between supervisors and employees, and is associated with OCBs (Tan & Tan 2000). The results of past research indicate a significant relationship between each component of organisational justice and trust in the supervisor (Konovsky & Pugh 1994, Stinglhamber, De Cremer & Mercken 2006, Camerman, Cropanzano & Vandenberghe 2007) while feelings of trust in the LMX relationship will result in long term reciprocal obligations (Rhoades & Eisenberger 2002).
In addition to trust, the quality of LMX relationship is likely to be affected by the extent to which the superior values the employee’s contributions. The social exchange theory posits that employees can develop a relationship between both the organisation and supervisor (Settoon, Bennett & Liden 1996). The LMX relationship develops steadily over time and is reciprocally strengthen by the behaviour of the leader and the subordinates. The LMX theory affirms that leaders exhibit different styles of leadership depending on the kind of leader’s relationship with the different subordinates within work groups (Dansereau, et al. 1975, Graen & Cashman 1975, Graen, Novak & Sommerkamp 1982, Scandura & Graen 1984). Elsewhere, Podsakoff and colleagues(1990) claimed that in group subordinates perceive greater fairness from their leaders than members of the out-group as in group members enjoy greater job latitude as well as leader’s support, confidence and consideration (Dansereau et al. 1975). In essence, the quality of the LMX relationship usually differs from one subordinate to another (Yukl, O’Donnell & Taber 2009). Based on the presented evidence hypothesis two was forecasted.
Hypothesis 2 Organisational justice is positively related to LMX.
High quality exchange relationships are expounded by high level of trust, liking, and respect as well as expectations of mutual exchange (Yukl, et al. 2009). In exchange for desired outcomes provided by the leader subordinates reciprocate by being committed to the work and loyal to the leader. On the contrary, in low quality exchange relationships, subordinates are only expected to perform the formal requirements of their jobs. Indeed, Moorman (1991) maintains that subordinates rated highly by their superiors on OCB perceive better quality of their relationship with their superiors and it is also likely that these subordinates will rate their superiors highly. Recently, Zhong, Lam, and Chen (2011) have reiterated that to sustain a mutually beneficial relationship, subordinates are likely to engage in OCB to restore equity if they perceive that they receive more than they give to the leaders. Additionally, empowerment positively moderates the effect of LMX on OCB (Zhong, et al. 2011) and job outcomes (Harris, Wheeler & Kacmar 2009). LMX is more positively related to OCB for subordinates with higher feelings of empowerment than for those with lower feelings of empowerment. Nonetheless, the engagement of subordinates in OCB is affected by the quality of LMX in which they are engaged.
As the quality of LMX relationship is crucial to employee attitudes and behaviour (Jablin 1979, Napier & Ferris 1993), a leader should strive to intensify high exchange relationships with as many subordinates as possible (Graen & Uhl-Bien 1995). Much empirical research links the quality of LMX with positive employee attitudes such as organisational commitment and intention to stay, OCB, leadership, satisfaction with supervision, satisfaction with work, overall LMX, content specific citizenship, and supervisory ratings of job performance as well as frequency of promotions, role clarity, innovation, safety commitment, and industrial/organisational psychology (e.g., Graen et al. 1982, Schriesheim, Castro, & Cogliser 1999, Hofmann, Morgeson & Gerras 2003, Krishnan 2004, Ang, Ansari & Jantan 2005, Harris, Kacmar & Witt 2005, Lee 2005, Lee & Ansari 2005, Graen 2006, Lapierre, Hackett & Taggar 2006, Pellegrini & Scandura 2006, Bhal & Ansari 2007, Sparrowe, Soetjipto & Kraimer 2006 Rofcanin & Mehtap 2010). Additionally, Erdogan and Liden (2002) observe lower job stress and greater workplace safety.
Many other studies have also emphasised the importance of the LMX relationship on OCB (Podsakoff, et al. 1990, Moorman 1991). In order to test the effect of LMX on the relationship between organisational justice and OCB, it is vital to show that organisational justice correlates with LMX (Scandura 1999). Though little is known about the relationship between LMX and justice (Pillai, Schriesheim & Williams 1999), studies (Alexander & Ruderman 1987, Manogran, Stauffer & Conlon 1994) have shown that LMX is positively related to procedural and interactional justice. The quality of LMX relationship is an important antecedent of perceived procedural justice climate, which in turn affects attitudinal outcomes (Jablin 1979, Napier & Ferris 1993). Similarly, Piccolo, et al. (2008) opine that high quality LMX strengthen the correlation between procedural and interpersonal justice and a variety of outcomes. Specifically, high LMX enhances the relationship between procedural and interpersonal justice with an employee’s felt obligation to the organisation. Mahfooz, Kee, and Aafaqi (2007) further assert that management needs to pay attention to the quality of LMX as employees look for mutual trust as mutual leader member interpersonal trust and support is vital for maximum business results. Findings on the mediating role of procedural justice climate in the LMX attitudinal outcomes relationship show that it is imperative that managers maintain reasonably high levels of positive perceptions of fairness to facilitate positive justice climate to increase employee commitment (Duchon, Green & Taber 1986, Kinicki & Vecchio 1994, Settoon, et al. 1996, Wayne, Shore & Liden 1997, Kee, Ansari & Aafaqi 2004,) and decrease turnover intentions (Vecchio & Gobdel 1984, Wayne, et al. 1997, Ansari, Kee & Aafaqi 2000, Harris, et al. 2005). The findings suggest that affect and professional respect dimensions of LMX is significant to attitude related outcomes in the Malaysian context. Thus, it is argued that there might be a correlation between perceptions of the quality of LMX relationship and OCB, as well as organisational justice. Building on the above arguments hypothesis three is proposed.
Hypothesis 3 LMX is positively related to OCB when organisational justice is controlled.
The population for this research was the employees of the manufacturing companies in Malaysia. For the purpose of this study, only management staff was considered as the population from which sampling would be drawn. As this study focused on the manufacturing sector, all manufacturing companies that were listed in the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Directory would be the sampling frame for the study. Using stratified random sampling, 100 companies were selected to provide enough variation for analysis. Questionnaires were distributed to ten management staff from each of the 100 companies. The respondents were randomly selected based on the list obtained from the HR Department of each organisation. Overall 267 valid cases were used for the analysis. The anonymity of the respondents was ensured. The Cronbach alpha reliability coefficients were relatively high and comparable to the original scales.
Primary data were collected from questionnaires written in English, which were sent by post to the selected companies. After approval from the CEO, the next step was to contact the HR Department of each of the companies by telephone. The theme, the purpose, general outline, method, and details of this study were explained. Three requests were made 1) to randomly select respondents to complete the questionnaire, 2) to distribute the questionnaire, and 3) to collect and send back the completed questionnaires. A general outline of the aim of the research and methodology was mailed to them in advance of the call.
The hypotheses for the study were tested using multi item scales adopted from prior studies. Instruments selected for the study have already been tested for validity and were universally used. The questions categorised into four parts, namely Part A to D, were measured using a five point Likert scale. Part A comprising of eight questions tapped the demographic data of the respondents as well as some characteristics of the organisations. Part B were items related to perceptions of organisational justice of the employees — distributive justice (4 questions), procedural justice (7 questions), informational justice (5 questions), and interpersonal justice (4 questions). Part C and Part D were items to measure LMX (5 questions), and OCB (23 questions) of the respondents respectively.
OCB was measured with a scale developed by Podsakoff, et al. (1990). Internal consistency reliabilities for the OCB scales ranged from 0.70 for civic virtue and 0.85 for altruism. The Cronbach alphas for the current study were 0.87 for courtesy, 0.87 for sportsmanship, 0.85 for altruism, 0.79 for civic virtue and 0.77 for conscientiousness. This study used Graen and Uhl-Bien (1995) LMX scales to assess the quality of the LMX relationship. Recent studies confirmed the reliability of the measure with Cronbach alphas ranging from .87 (Yukl, et al. 2009) to .91 (Hooper & Martin 2008). The Cronbach alpha for this study was 0.85. To assess each component of organisational justice, this study employed measures developed by Colquitt (2001) as cross pollination of items has been accounted. The Cronbach alpha for each component was 0.89 for procedural justice, 0.87 for informational justice, 0.91 for distributive justice, and 0.87 for interpersonal justice.
The steps involved in processing the collected raw data included editing, coding, entering the data, and charting. The collected data from the questionnaires were edited for completeness, consistency and legibility before proceeding to the next process. As a precautionary measure the responses were carefully checked to ensure the survey’s completeness and that no answer was omitted. In the consistency check, a contradictory answer will be highlighted and corrected during data tabulation. Inconsistencies that can be logically corrected were rectified. Incomplete data, inconsistent answer, inaccuracies and ineligibility, when found at a later stage were discarded. Since the expected number of respondents was limited to about 30 per cent, editing was done manually soon after the data had been gathered. Repeated editing was conducted to ensure that minimum data quality standard has been achieved. Responses to some of the negatively worded questions were transformed in the reverse order so that all answers are in the same direction. All missing responses to the main part of the questionnaire were assigned a midpoint in the scale as the response to that particular item. However, questionnaires that have a substantial number of questions left unanswered were not included in the data set for analysis. The results from the data entry were transferred into a readable, quantifiable and understandable format for graphical and visual presentation of the collected data.
After the removal of outliers, a factor analysis rotated with Varimax was conducted. With eigenvalues set at 1.00, items with communalities more than 0.50 were retained. Correlation analysis was then conducted to describe the strength and direction of the linear relationship between the variables. Hierarchical regression was employed to test the hypotheses. In the study, perceptions of organisational justice are believed to create the quality of LMX relationship, which then results in OCB.
Of the 267 respondents, 56.6 per cent are male and 43.4 per cent are females. The majority of the respondents are aged between 25 and 40 years (67.8%) and about two thirds (66.3%) are married. More than half of the respondents have at least a Bachelor degree (68.5%) and slightly more than a third are managerial staff (36.3%). Half of the respondents are either engineers or executives (50.9%). About half of the respondents (48.3%) have been with their current organisation for between three to ten years. Results of the correlation analysis provide support for discriminant validity considering the low correlation among variables that are supposed to be unrelated. Examining further, none of the correlation coefficient is above 0.90, indicating that all the variables are distinct (Amick & Walberg 1975). Preliminary analyses were conducted to ensure no violation of the assumptions of normality, linearity, multicollinearity, and homoscedasticity. The VIF scores for all the variables are well below 10, and, therefore, there is no concern for multicollinearity (Pallant 2007).
Hierarchical regression analyses were employed to test the hypotheses. In Table 1, control variables (age, education level, tenure, and position) were first regressed followed by organisational justice on courtesy, sportsmanship, altruism, civic virtue and conscientiousness. The objective was to see the influence of justice dimensions when control variables were controlled on dimensions of OCB. The four control variables were regressed as there was a possibility that these variables might inflate relations between other variables (Staines, Fudge & Pottick 1986).
|Beta||t value||p <||Beta||t value||p <||Beta||t value||p <||Beta||t value||p <||Beta||t value||p <|
At Step 1, the four control variables — age, education level, tenure, and position were entered, explaining 4.1 per cent of the variance in courtesy. As indicated in Table 1, education level significantly predicted courtesy. The negative correlation implied that people who are more educated tended to be less courteous. At Step 2, components of organisational justice were entered. After entry of justice dimensions at Step 2, the total variance explained by the model as a whole was 13.2 per cent, F(8, 258) = 6.061, p < 0.001. The four justice measures explained an additional 10.3 per cent of the variance in courtesy, after controlling for age, education level, tenure, and position, R2 change = .103, F change (4, 258) = 7.909, p < 0.001. The results suggest that courtesy will be high when interactional justice is perceived to be high. In the final model, education level, informational justice and interpersonal justice were statistically significant, with interpersonal justice scale recording a higher beta value (beta = .209, p < 0.005) than informational justice (beta = .203, p < 0.01) or education level (beta = -.146, p < 0.05). Thus, the hypothesis that organisational justice is positively related to courtesy is partially substantiated.
The results of the influence of organisational justice on sportsmanship showed that at Step 1 where control variables were regressed, 2.6 per cent of the variance in sportsmanship was explained by the control variables. Among the control variables, age significantly predicted sportsmanship. This implies that employee efforts in avoiding negative behaviours and not complaining in case of problems increased with age. After entry of justice dimensions at Step 2, the total variance explained by the model as a whole was 3.6 per cent, F(8, 258) = 2.239, p < 0.05. The four control measures explained an additional 2.5 per cent of the variance in sportsmanship, after controlling for age, education level, tenure, and position, R2 change = .025, F change (4, 258) = 1.703, p < 0.150. For the regression analysis shown in Table 1, only age was a significant predictor of sportsmanship, justice dimensions were not. Thus, the hypothesis that organisational justice is positively related to sportsmanship is not substantiated.
For the influence of organisational justice on altruism, the regression analysis showed that interpersonal justice significantly predicted altruism. This means that voluntary behaviour of helping coworkers in the organisation in work related matters is dependent on the sincerity and respectfulness of authority communication. Employees are willing to assist coworkers in their work if superiors treat them with respect and dignity. After entry of justice dimensions at Step 2, the total variance explained by the model as a whole was eight per cent, F(8, 258) = 3.904, p < 0.001. The four control measures explained an additional 8.5 per cent of the variance in altruism, after controlling for age, education level, tenure, and position, R2 change = .085, F change (4, 258) = 6.138, p < 0.001. The results suggest that altruism will be high when interpersonal justice is perceived to be high. Thus, the hypothesis that organisational justice is positively related to altruism is partially substantiated.
Examining the influence of organisational justice on civic virtue, at Step 1, the variance explained is 5.9 per cent. As indicated in Table 1, education level and tenure with the organisation significantly predicted civic virtue. The negative correlation between education level and civic virtue implies that people who are more educated tend to have less thorough knowledge of things happening in the organisation. On the contrary, interest in new developments, work methods, company policies and self improvement efforts will increase as employees’ tenure with the organisation increases. At Step 2, components of organisational justice were entered. After entry of justice dimensions at Step 2, the total variance explained by the model as a whole was 17.7 per cent, F(8, 258) = 8.156, p < 0.001. The four control measures explained an additional 12.8 per cent of the variance in civic virtue, after controlling for age, education level, tenure, and position, R2 change = .128, F change (4, 258) = 10.373, p < 0.001. The results suggest that civic virtue will be high when procedural justice and interpersonal justice are perceived to be high. In the final model, education level, tenure, procedural justice and interpersonal justice were statistically significant, with education level recording a higher beta value (beta = -.182, p < 0.005) than tenure (beta = .177, p < 0.05) or procedural justice (beta = .164, p < 0.05) or interpersonal justice (beta = .141, p < 0.05). Thus, the hypothesis that organisational justice is positively related to civic virtue is partially substantiated.
The hypothesis that organisational justice is positively related to conscientiousness is partially substantiated. Similarly, as indicated in Table 1, interpersonal justice tended to be a more important predictor of conscientiousness. Thus, the sincerity and respectfulness of authority communication have a significant influence on employees’ sincere devotion to the organisation and respect for company rules beyond the organisation’s requirements. The positive correlation implied that people are more devoted and committed to the organisation if they perceived that authorities respected and treated them with dignity. In short, conscientiousness will be high when interpersonal justice is perceived to be high. At Step 1, the four control variables of age, education level, tenure, and position explained 2.1 per cent of the variance in conscientiousness. At Step 2, after entry of justice dimensions, the total variance explained by the model as a whole was 10.8 per cent, F(8, 258) = 5.047, p < 0.001. The four control measures explained an additional 10 per cent of the variance in conscientiousness, after controlling for age, education level, tenure, and position, R2 change = .100, F change (4, 258) = 7.439, p < 0.001. In the final model, interpersonal justice was statistically significant, with interpersonal justice scale recording a beta value (beta = .328, p < 0.001).
|Model||Variables||Beta||t value||p <||R2||Adjusted R2||F value||p <|
The second hypothesis that organisational justice is positively related to LMX examined the influence of justice dimensions on LMX. At Step 1, the variance explained by the four control variables, namely age, education level, tenure, and position was small explaining 0.4 per cent of the variance in LMX. At Step 2, after entry of justice dimensions, the total variance explained by the model as a whole was 37.3 per cent, F(8, 258) = 20.759, p < 0.001. The four control measures explained an additional 37.2 per cent of the variance in LMX. After age, education level, tenure, and position are statistically controlled for, R2 change = .372, F change (4, 258) = 39.487, p < 0.001. As indicated in Table 2, all justice dimensions make a statistically significant contribution and suggest that LMX will be high when these justice dimensions are perceived to be high. In order of importance, informational justice scale recorded a higher beta value (beta = .233, p < 0.001) — more than distributive justice (beta = .228, p < 0.001), interpersonal justice (beta = .162, p < 0.01), and procedural justice (beta = .149, p < 0.05). Thus, the hypothesis that organisational justice is positively related to LMX is substantiated.
Results of the analysis showed that LMX is not positively related to courtesy when organisational justice is controlled. After entry of LMX at Step 3, the total variance explained by the model as a whole was 13.1 per cent, F(9, 257) = 5.438, p < 0.001. LMX explained an additional 0.2 per cent of the variance in courtesy, after controlling for justice measures, R2 change = .002, F change (1, 257) = 0.541, p < 0.463. The results suggest that LMX has no significant influence on courtesy. In the final model, education level, informational justice, and interpersonal justice were statistically significant, with interpersonal justice scale recording a higher beta value (beta = .200, p < 0.006) than informational justice scale (beta = .190, p < 0.018) or education level (beta = -.141, p < 0.020). Thus, the hypothesis that LMX is positively related to courtesy when organisational justice is controlled is not substantiated.
|Beta||t value||p <||Beta||t value||p <||Beta||t value||p <||Beta||t value||p <||Beta||t value||p <|
As indicated in Table 3, the influence of LMX on sportsmanship is insignificant when the influence of justice had been controlled. After entry of LMX at Step 3, the total variance explained by the model as a whole was 3.2 per cent, F(9, 257) = 1.988, p < 0.041. However, R2 change = .000, F change (1, 257) = 0.047, p < 0.829. The results suggest that LMX has no effect on sportsmanship. In the final model, only age was statistically significant, with age recording a beta value of .178, p < 0.05. Thus, the hypothesis that LMX is positively related to sportsmanship when organisational justice is controlled is not substantiated.
To test the hypothesis that LMX is positively related to altruism when organisational justice is controlled, after entry of LMX at Step 3, the total variance explained by the model as a whole was 9.6 per cent, F(9, 257) = 4.157, p < 0.001. LMX explained an additional 1.9 per cent of the variance in altruism. After justice measures were statistically controlled for, R2 change = .019, F change (1, 257) = 5.619, p < 0.05. As indicated in Table 3, interpersonal justice and LMX make a statistically significant contribution and suggest that altruism will be high when these dimensions were perceived to be high. In order of importance, LMX scale recorded a higher beta value (beta = .177, p < 0.05), more than interpersonal justice (beta = .151, p < 0.05). Thus, the hypothesis that LMX is positively related to altruism when organisational justice is controlled is substantiated.
The regression analysis for the influence of LMX on civic virtue after controlling for organisational justice showed that the total variance explained by the model at Step 3 as a whole was 18.2 per cent, F(9, 257) = 7.569, p < 0.001. As indicated in Table 3, education level, tenure and procedural justice significantly predicted civic virtue, with tenure recording a higher beta value (beta = .174, p < 0.05) than education level (beta = -.172, p < 0.005) or procedural justice scale (beta = .147, p < 0.05). The negative correlation implied that people who are more educated tended to show less civic behaviours. LMX explained an additional 0.8 per cent of the variance in civic virtue, after controlling for justice dimensions R2 change = .008, F change (1, 257) = 2.496, p < 0.115. The results suggest that variance in civic virtue is insignificant in relation to a change in LMX. Thus, the hypothesis that LMX is positively related to civic virtue when organisational justice is controlled is not supported.
Examining the influence of LMX on conscientiousness when organisational justice is controlled, at Step 3, the variance explained is 11.9 per cent, F(9, 257) = 4.978, p < 0.001. As indicated in Table 3, distributive justice, interpersonal justice and LMX significantly predicted conscientiousness. LMX explained an additional 1.3 per cent of the variance in conscientiousness, R2 change = .013, F change (1, 257) = 3.963, p < 0.048. The results suggest that conscientiousness will be high when LMX and interpersonal justice were perceived to be high, and distributive justice is perceived to be low. In the final model, interpersonal justice recorded a higher beta value (beta = .304, p < 0.001) than LMX (beta = .147, p < 0.05) or distributive justice (beta = -.147, p < 0.05). Thus, the hypothesis that LMX is positively related to conscientiousness when organisational justice is controlled is supported.
The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between organisational justice, LMX, and OCB. Correlations between employees’ organisational justice perceptions were significantly related to LMX, altruism, and civic virtue. Except for procedural justice, justice perceptions were significantly related to courtesy. The two interactional justice dimensions of informational justice and interpersonal justice were significantly related to conscientiousness. Thus, organisational justice has a significant impact on LMX and OCB. Particular attention should be paid to interpersonal justice and informational justice as both have a strong influence on LMX and all dimensions of OCB. It is, therefore, imperative to provide industry captains or organisational leaders with interpersonal skills to communicate perceived fairness in decision making. This involves giving employees due respect and increasing transparency in the decision making processes. This concurs with DeConinck (2010) assertion that for interactional justice to improve, supervisors need to explain not only the procedures, but also, response to queries regarding the process. In essence, it may be necessary for HR practitioners and developmental specialists to prioritise leadership training for all employees involved in decision making. Though autonomy in decision making may be encouraged, perceived injustice will strain relationships and hamper citizenship behaviours.
Organisational justice was conceptualised as four separate dimensions: distributive justice, procedural justice, informational justice, and interpersonal justice. Interpersonal justice is an important predictor of OCB; it is significantly related to courtesy, altruism, and conscientiousness. The findings are similar to past studies that found a robust relationship between interactional justice and OCB (Greenberg 1990, Moorman 1991, Skarlicki & Folger 1997, Williams, et al. 2002, Lazar, et al. 2007). Informational justice significantly predicted courtesy whilst procedural justice civic virtue. This contrasted past research that suggested that procedural justice would be more related to altruism (Farh, et al. 1990), interactional justice to altruism (Ishak & Alam, 2009), and altruism, courtesy, sportsmanship, and conscientiousness (Moorman 1991, Niehoff & Moorman 1993). The findings of the current study suggest that perceived fairness of interpersonal treatment by managers or other organisational representatives rather than fairness of a firm’s procedures may have a stronger impact on OCB. This is also incongruent with the findings of Nadiri and Tanova (2010) where distributive justice was a stronger predictor of OCB. Based on the current study, to enhance OCB, managers may have to make a concerted effort to treat employees with greater respect and dignity.
Perceptions of fairness significantly predicted LMX. Whilst other studies have shown that procedural or interactional justice are more related to LMX (e.g., Jablin 1979, Alexander & Ruderman 1987, Lind & Tyler 1988, Folger & Konovsky 1989, McFarlin & Sweeney 1992, Napier & Ferris 1993, Konovsky & Pugh 1994, Manogran, et al. 1994, Brockner & Siegel 1996, Brockner, Siegel, et al. 1997), the current study affirmed that informational justice is the most important, followed by distributive justice, interpersonal justice and procedural justice. The current findings suggest that the use of honest and adequate explanations for decisions is imperative for a higher degree of emotional support and exchange of valued resources between the leader and the subordinates. To enhance LMX, the supervisor has to explain explicitly the procedures involved in decision outcomes, and to communicate with the employees to assure consistency and transparency of procedures and outcomes. The reason for this is explanations often provide the information needed to justify the procedures and decisions taken.
To improve LMX at the workplace, authorities may consider promoting a culture of intelligibility. Fairness in explanations may enhance LMX, which in turn may create a sense of belonging to the organisation. Fostering commitment and loyalty among employees can be a competitive advantage in today’s business world (Nadiri & Tanova 2010). Hoarding of information may hinder mutual trust and reciprocal influence, which further aggravates the LMX relationship. It may be necessary to increase employee involvement in decision making process to improve LMX as it enhances employees’ perception of procedural justice (Thibaut & Walker 1975, Van Yperen, et al. 1999). As group interaction is essential for high quality LMX relationship, occasional informal gatherings such as Family Day, team building workshops at resort locations, parties and sporting events are also likely to improve group morale, and improve organisational effectiveness. Communication between the superiors and the subordinates tends to be less cautious and the informality would probably lead to better understanding among staffs. Employees are likely to reciprocate with positive behaviours that reinforce LMX if they perceived that leaders are supportive of their endeavours. Additionally, organisations may groom leaders to be more decisive and consistent in decisions, and hence, better decision makers. Leadership training that emphasises on the importance of fairness, interpersonal skills, mentoring, and joint development of goals may increase their knowledge, skills, and self confidence on the job. Leaders should be trained to make decisions based on merit or performance and not personal judgment. Emphasis should also be placed on the necessity to be explicit in whatever decisions made in order to mitigate perceptions of injustice.
As far as the relationship between LMX and OCB is concerned, LMX significantly predicted all dimensions of OCB except sportsmanship. This confirmed the findings of other studies which indicated significant correlations between LMX and OCB (e.g., Organ 1988a, Podsakoff, et al. 1990, Moorman 1991, Tansky 1993, Konovsky & Pugh 1994, Van Yperen, et al. 1999, Dirks & Ferrin 2002). Only age has a significant impact on sportsmanship, implying that older employees complained less and avoid negative behaviours. Besides LMX, education level is significantly related to courtesy and civic virtue. Tenure also significantly predicts civic virtue. In terms of importance, LMX explained more variance in civic virtue than altruism, conscientiousness, or courtesy. In essence, LMX has a big impact on employees’ interest in the affairs and developments of the organisation. Good LMX relationship augments a sense of commitment and identification with the organisation. Employees proactively improve self awareness of happenings in the organisation and responsibly participate in company matters. Employees may be motivated to perform beyond the job scope and provide mutual support to achieve organisational goals. Employees are likely to go for self improvement to enhance soft skills and competencies at the workplace. Thus, practitioners may have to improve LMX if OCB were to increase. This may entail an open communication system, allocative procedures that are consistent across persons and over time (Leventhal 1976), greater employee involvement, and increase transparency in procedures. Open communication is necessary to establish a sense of trust in the LMX relationship. Feedback sessions could be established to encourage constructive feedback from subordinates and superiors. A corporate culture that encourages open two way communication is highly recommended.
LMX has a significant influence only on altruism and conscientiousness when the influence of justice had been controlled. This is consistent with the findings of Wayne and Green (1993), and Truckenbrodt (2000) that LMX specifically relates to altruism. In terms of total variance explained, the impact of LMX on altruism is stronger than on conscientiousness. Though interpersonal justice has an effect on altruism, the influence is not as strong as LMX. This implied that practitioners should aim to improve altruism through improved LMX. Interpersonal justice explained more of the variance in conscientiousness as compared to LMX and distributive justice. Thus, though improved LMX may enhance conscientiousness, focusing on improving interpersonal justice may produce better results. As LMX only has a significant influence on altruism and conscientiousness, the effect on OCB would be minimal if practitioners were to focus on improving LMX. Organisations would probably benefit more by focusing on and informational justice and distributive justice as both justice measures improve the quality of LMX. Additionally, the enactment of interpersonal justice and procedural justice may further strengthen the LMX relationship.
Increased LMX would probably enhance team working, create a more disciplined and committed workforce, and improve behaviours and attitude at the workplace. Employees would likely exhibit extra role behaviours — helping or cooperating with coworkers on organisationally related matters. Employees may be more accommodating to fresh recruits, relieve a sick coworker, or volunteer to help others (Truckenbrodt 2000). Besides, employees are expected to go beyond what is minimally required relating to attendance and punctuality at work, coffee and lunch breaks, working hours, notice on absenteeism, and general rule compliance. Positive work attitudes may result in a favourable organisational culture of growth and innovation. Human relations are likely to improve in an environment where high quality LMX relationships can thrive. Improving the quality of LMX will enhance subordinates’ sense of commitment and citizenship behaviour and aids in organisational growth and success (Truckenbrodt 2000). A strong dyadic relationship will be benefitial to all — the leaders, the subordinates, and the organisation.
The strongest significance of this study is probably providing indicators that influence OCBs. Understanding the direct and indirect factors that affect OCBs would help the organisation to increase its focus on those factors that encourage OCBs. The inclusion of all three types of organisational justice in the study would probably enlighten the organisation on the relative importance of each and its effects on the employees. A corollary of this is that organisations would be able to see the effects of each type of organisational justice on each dimension of OCB. This would help organisations to decide which aspect of justice to work on to improve citizenship behaviour among their employees. Fundamentally, it provides the groundwork for organisations to study the dynamics through which fairness perceptions render OCBs appropriate Organisations may choose to cultivate a culture of fairness and influence employees’ perception of a quality relationship between organisational justice and OCB As the study looks at LMX as well, organisations would have an insight of whether LMX is a primary antecedent of OCBs. If it is indeed strongly related to OCBs, then measures may be taken to improve LMX. Furthermore, by comparison, one would be able to see which type of organisational justice would have a greater impact on OCB, and LMX. Knowing which type of organisational justice is salient for each construct allows the management of organisations to take appropriate actions to improve conditions at the workplace.
The results of the study suggest that organisations need to pay more attention to programmes and policies that encourage fairness if LMX and OCB are the priority of management. Specifically, organisations need to focus on overall justice to enhance LMX and OCB. Though the quality of the LMX relationship usually differs from one subordinate to another basically, LMX relationships are characterised by mutual trust, respect, liking, and reciprocal influence. Organisational justice has a significant influence on these characteristics. Thus, it is crucial for organisations to manage fairness effectively.
is attached to International Business School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and specialises in Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour. She holds a professional degree in Company Secretarial from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Master of Economics from Wakayama University, and PhD in Business Administration from St. Andrew’s University.
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