The Effects of Organizational Justice on Organizational Citizenship Behavior in the Chinese Context: The Mediating Effects of Social Exchange Relationship

By Chen, Hong; Jin, Yang-Hua | Public Personnel Management, September 2014 | Go to article overview

The Effects of Organizational Justice on Organizational Citizenship Behavior in the Chinese Context: The Mediating Effects of Social Exchange Relationship


Chen, Hong, Jin, Yang-Hua, Public Personnel Management


Abstract

Organizational justice (OJ) has been one of the topics studied most frequently in last decade's years but mostly in the context of Western countries. This study tests the construct validity of OJ in the context of Chinese societies first, testifying four-dimensional OJ model is the best one, which includes distributive, procedural, interpersonal, and leadership justice. Second, the regression analysis of Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) on OJ has been done; it was found that distributive justice (DJ) and interpersonal justice (IJ) have a positive effect on Organizational Citizenship Behavior Beneficial to Supervisor (OCBS), whereas procedural justice (PJ) and IJ have a positive effect on Organizational Citizenship Behavior Beneficial to Organization (OCBO). Last, the mediating role of social exchange between OJ and OCB was tested and verified--Perceived organizational support (POS) mediates PJ, leadership justice (LJ), and OCBO, whereas leader-member exchange (LMX) mediates DJ and IJ. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Keywords

organizational justice, Chinese context, Organizational Citizenship Behavior, social exchange, mediating effects

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As a possible reason for controlling negative effects of organizational politics, organizational justice (OJ) has been researched in literature (Byrne, 2005). In organization, employees feel the organization fair will affect employees will, Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB), and compliance with the rules (Frazier, Johnson, Gavin, Gooty, & Snow, 2010), and many researches have verified the dimensionality of justice construct and each dimensionality is the predictors of work-related outcomes (e.g., Aryee, Chen & Budhwar, 2004; Konovsky & Cropanzano, 1991).

Although a large body of justice theory has been developed in the context of Western societies, it is not sure that the results of researches can generalize across cultures. So, one of the purposes of our research is to explore the dimensionality of justice construct in the Chinese context. A vast majority of literature on OCB in the last two decades show that OCB is associated with many organizationally relevant outcomes (e.g., LePine, Erez, & Johnson, 2002; Rioux & Penner, 2001). Moreover, some of these researchers have found that perceived OJ are significant predictors of OCB in Western contexts (Schilpzand, Martins, Kirkman, Lowe, & Chen, 2013). Social Exchange Theory (SET) suggests that any mediating variables in the justice-OCB link should indicate received benefits deserving reciprocation (Moorman & Byrne, 2005).

All relationships among OJ, OCB, and SET have been testified in the context of Western societies, but one research (Schilpzand et al., 2013), by integrating the four dominant justice perspectives with Hofstede's cultural values, has found the difference of the relationships between justice and outcomes. So the other purpose of our research is to verify the relationship between OJ and OCB, and the mediating effects of social exchange (SE) relationship on OJ-OCB link.

Literature Review and Hypothesis Development

Definition of Related Concepts

Organizational justice. The research on OJ is focused on the following two aspects--the structural dimensions of OJ and measurement; the effect of the OJ on individuals and organizations. The current OJ structure has the following view: (a) two-factor theory--including distributive and procedural justice; (b) three-factor theory--including distributive, procedural, and interactional justice (Masterson, Lewis, Goldman & Taylor, 2000); and (c) four-factor theory--including distributive, procedural, interpersonal, and information justice (Colquitt, Conlon, Wesson, Porter, & Ng, 2001). Some researchers found that, in the Chinese context, organizational justice include distributive, procedural, information, and leadership justice (Liu, Long, & Li, 2003), but this has not been widely accepted. …

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