Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Distributive Justice Climate and Job Performance: The Mediating Role of Industrial Relations Climate

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Distributive Justice Climate and Job Performance: The Mediating Role of Industrial Relations Climate

Article excerpt

Justice of decision outcomes, termed distributive justice (Adams, 1965), has been found to be positively related to employees' work outcomes (Colquitt et al., 2013). In the last decade, researchers have extended the individual-level approach by considering justice climate from a multilevel perspective (Liao & Rupp, 2005; Whitman, Caleo, Carpenter, Horner, & Bernerth, 2012). Despite reviews in which the importance of distributive justice climate - that is, shared perceptions of fairness of reward and resource distribution within an organization - has been highlighted in determining performance at the firm level (Whitman et al., 2012), researchers have yet to examine from a multilevel perspective how distributive justice climate influences job performance (Ohana, 2014).

Building on previous justice climate research, we examined the mediating role of industrial relations climate in the relationship between distributive justice climate and job performance. Industrial relations climate is defined as "the degree to which relations between management and employees are seen by participants as mutually trusting, respectful, and cooperative" (Snape & Redman, 2012, p. 11). Specifically, distributive justice climate indicates that the organization acts in a fair manner toward employees (Ohana, 2014). Thus, employees tend to perceive high-quality social exchange in the employment relationship, and tend to be willing to reward the organization through hard work (Colquitt et al., 2013).

In this study our aim was to understand the multilevel mechanism through which distributive justice climate relates to job performance. We have integrated and extended justice climate and industrial relations research by discussing the mediating role of industrial relations climate (Colquitt et al., 2013; Deery, Iverson, & Erwin, 1999). We expected that our findings would contribute to the increasing interest in interpreting organizational behavior from a multilevel perspective.

Literature Review and Hypotheses Development

Distributive Justice Climate and Industrial Relations Climate

The rationale for the development of both distributive justice climate and industrial relations climate originates from the literature on organizational climate (Blyton, Dastmalchian, & Adamson, 1987; Whitman et al., 2012). In social information processing theory, Salancik and Pfeffer (1978) argue that individuals' judgments about organizational events will be influenced by the social context of those events because the individuals involved want to reach consensus guided by socially acceptable beliefs. Thus, people in an organization tend to develop similar interpretations of the practices and values of that organization which, in turn, form an organizational climate.

The firm-level distributive justice climate provides a context in which high-quality social exchange is formed between management and employees. According to social exchange theory (Blau, 1964), employees may interpret a distributive justice climate that is fair and equitable as a guarantee of economic outcomes from the organization, such as money (Colquitt et al., 2013). A distributive justice climate that is effective is also an indicator that the organization values employees' contributions and acts in a fair manner toward them (Ohana, 2014). Therefore, employees tend to trust and cooperate with the management and a more specific form of organizational climate, related to industrial relations climate, is likely to emerge. In addition, prior researchers have empirically tested the positive association between employee perception of distributive justice and industrial relations climate at the individual level (Deery et al., 1999). The fair and labor-value-added principles followed by the organization could affect employees' shared perceptions of industrial relations (Ma, Liu, & Liu, 2014). Hence, we formed the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 1: Distributive justice climate will be positively related to industrial relations climate. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.