Can Fairness Explain Satisfaction? Mediation of Quality of Work Life (QWL) in the Influence of Organizational Justice on Job Satisfaction

By Totawar, Abhishek K.; Nambudiri, Ranjeet | South Asian Journal of Management, April-June 2014 | Go to article overview

Can Fairness Explain Satisfaction? Mediation of Quality of Work Life (QWL) in the Influence of Organizational Justice on Job Satisfaction


Totawar, Abhishek K., Nambudiri, Ranjeet, South Asian Journal of Management


Previous research has demonstrated a positive influence of organizational justice on job satisfaction; however, the underlying mechanism of this relation is yet to be explored. We first studied the pronounced relation between these two variables; then drawing from the social exchange perspective we proposed Quality of Work Life (QWL) as an explanatory variable for this relation. A mediation model is proposed with QWL mediating the relationship between organizational justice and job satisfaction. Data from 204 managerial employees confirmed this mediation. It also establishes organizational justice as an antecedent of QWL. This study offers a new perspective on basis of the unique nature and functions of QWL; the 'open to control' nature of QWL presents itself as a means of organizational interventions, and thereby contributing in appraisal of employees' job satisfaction. The study extends existing knowledge on job satisfaction, by establishing QWL as an explanatory variable. This is a substantial understanding because fairness perceptions are relatively less controllable by organizational interventions, in contrast QWL can easily be managed by regular organizational interventions.

Organizations have readily recognized the strategic significance of human capital in the present competitive business environment. This appreciation has been accompanied by heightened interest in assessing the effect of HR practices and policies on various work outcomes as, job satisfaction and Quality of Work Life (QWL) (Baroudi, 1985; Couger, 1988; and Igbaria et al., 1994). Thus, if organizations desire to have an edge over others in the factor marketplace, then it becomes imperative that they nurture their most significant assets, their employees. Similarly Caudron (1994) noted that high quality personnel are a critical source of competitive advantage in today's market place.

Organizational behavior literature has hence focused a lot of attention on variables that explain motivation and retention of employees. Extant literature has positioned job satisfaction as an antecedent of employee motivation and as being negatively related to turnover intent (Lee et al., 1996 and 1999; Steel, 2002; and Boswell et al., 2005). Existing literature has also examined the linkages between perceived justice and job satisfaction (Curry et al., 1986; Folger and Konovsky, 1989; McFarlin and Sweeney, 1992; and Martin and Bennett, 1996). However, the underlying mechanism explaining this relationship has not been explored extensively. Researchers have consistently reported high correlations between overall job satisfaction and performance (Iaffaldano and Muchinsky, 1985, and Petty et al., 1984). Studies have also seen the effect of job satisfaction on employee motivation and turnover intentions (Stazyk, 2010). Job satisfaction has been treated as both a global concept referring to overall satisfaction and as a facet- specific concept referring to various aspects of work , such as pay, supervision, or workload (Cook et al., 1981). On a higher level, there exists a positive match between job satisfa ction and high self-este em, high self- efficacy and low neuroticism (Srivastava and Locke, 2006). This study offers a new perspective to study job satisfaction by offering a combined effect of justice and QWL on the same. The significance of this study is that it attempts to explain job satisfaction using justice as an antecedent. This becomes crucial when the literature provides differing viewpoints on whether job satisfac tion is an antecedent or a consequ en ce of the overall organizational performance (Petty et al., 1984). We contend that, the influence of organizational justice on job satisfaction can be better explained using QWL. Based on this premise, the objective of this study is to assess QWL as a mediator in the organizational justice and job satisfaction relationship.

PAPER PLAN

We begin by discussing the social exchange theory, and how our argument of the anticipated mediation relationship is grounded in this theory. …

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