The impact of organisational justice on employees’ job performance and helping behaviour
: a multilevel approach

  • Munirah Alqahtani

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Although a growing body of work has focused on the effect of organisational justice and employee outcomes, such as job performance and OCB, little attention has been paid to the mechanisms and boundary conditions underlying this effect. Drawing on social exchange theory and social identity theory, I propose a model in which the effects of three dimensions of justice (distributive, procedural and interactional) on job performance and helping behaviour occur via social exchange and supervisor identification. Additionally, I integrate leadership and organisational justice literatures by proposing the notion of ethical leadership style as a team level moderator influencing the above proposed mediation pathway. Finally, antecedents of ethical leadership are explored, with team perceptions of overall justice being expected to predict ethical leadership. I conducted two studies. In Study1, data were collected from seven organisations, with 241 responses being from 43 teams. Study 2 was based on 349 employees within 39 teams and 27 supervisors drawn from two large organisations.Generally, the findings of both studies showed that procedural and interactional justice were significantly related to job performance and helping behaviour via social exchange and supervisor identification, but that this was not the case with distributive justice. Support was also found for the moderating effect of ethical leadership, with the pattern of results showing that the relationship between social exchange and supervisor identification was stronger when ethical leadership was low.Findings of the moderated meditation revealed that the effects of procedural and interactional justice on supervisor identification were also stronger when ethical leadership was low.Support for overall moderated mediation, linking justice dimensions to job performance and helping behaviour dependent on levels of ethical leadership, was, however, not obtained (see Study2). Finally, team perceptions of overall supervisory justice were positively related to ethical leadership at the team level (see Study2). The implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Date of Award12 Jun 2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorClaudia Sacramento (Supervisor) & Samuel N Aryee (Supervisor)


  • justice dimensions
  • ethical leadership
  • social exchange
  • supervisor identification
  • job performance
  • helping behaviour

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