How organization justice and perceived organizational support facilitate employees’ innovative behavior at work

Publication Date07 Oct 2019
AuthorSajjad Nazir,Amina Shafi,Mian Muhammad Atif,Wang Qun,Syed Muhammad Abdullah
SubjectHr & organizational behaviour,Industrial/labour relations,Employment law
How organization justice and
perceived organizational support
facilitate employeesinnovative
behavior at work
Sajjad Nazir and Amina Shafi
Hohai Business School, Hohai University, Nanjing, China
Mian Muhammad Atif
FAST School of Management,
National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
Wang Qun
Hohai Business School, Hohai University, Nanjing, China, and
Syed Muhammad Abdullah
Department of Management Sciences,
Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, Pakistan
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relations hips among organizati onal justice,
innovative organiza tion culture, perceived o rganizational support (P OS), affective commitm ent and
innovative behavior (I B). The mediating role of POS is tested within the relationshi p of justice dimensions,
affective commitment and IB.
Design/methodology/approach Data for this research were collected from 367 managerial and executive
employees working in manufacturing and IT sector firms in Pakistan. Structural equation modeling was
utilized to test hypothesized relationships.
Findings Results indicate that organizational justice (distributive, procedural and interactional justice),
innovative organization culture and POS are significantly related to affective commitment and employeesIB.
The findings also showed that organizational justice stimulates employeesaffective commitment and IB
through mediating POS as well as directly.
Research limitations/implications The main limitation of this study is its cross-se ctional design and
self-reported quest ionnaire data. This study is also limi ted to manufacturing and IT sector in P akistan.
Therefore, other sectors and geographical locations could be chosen for future research using a bigger
sample size.
Originality/value This study makes important theoretical contributions using social exchange theory.
It also expands the research in the area of organizational justice dimensions, organizational culture and
POS as antecedents of affective commitment and IB. This study is an exceptional investigation of justice,
organization culture, POS, commitment and IB in the Pakistan cultural context.
Keywords Organizational justice, Innovative behaviour, Organizational culture, Affective commitment,
Perceived organization support
Paper type Research paper
Employeesinnovative behavior(IB) has immense significance for organizational effectiveness
and its survival, which ultimately leads an organization toward sustainable development
(Oldham and Cummings, 1996; Scott and Bruce, 1994). IB generates new ideas, including
efficient multitasking processes and job-related managerial motivation (Amabile et al., 1996).
In order to mobilize the innovation process, many organizations take into consideration the
various actorsthat assist them in the development of employeesIB (Martins andTerblanche,
Employee Relations: The
International Journal
Vol. 41 No. 6, 2019
pp. 1288-1311
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/ER-01-2017-0007
Received 10 January 2017
Revised 21 January 2018
Accepted 11 June 2018
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
2003). Researchers argue that organizations progress further when their employees are ready
to contribute beyond their formal job descriptions (Organ, 1988; Podsakoff et al., 2000).
In todays changing and competitivebusiness world, organizations require theiremployees to
become social entrepreneurs (Bies et al., 2007; Bornstein, 2004) and employees are expected
to improve their organizationsprocesses by producing and implementing innovative
solutions that enhance both customer satisfaction and services (Dean and Kretschmer, 2007).
These contemporary changes in work arrangements havebrought to light the importance of
perceptionsof justice, fairness, and moralvalues in management discourse(Viswesvaran and
Ones, 2002). Organizational justice has been explored in the literature of organizational
behavior as a possible system that oversees the adverse effects of organizational politics
(Byrne, 2005), encourages mutual understanding in employeremployee relationships
(Andrews and Kacmar, 2001), diminishes ethical uncertainty (Cavanagh et al.,1981),reduces
stress (Ferris et al.,1996) and creates employeespositiveattitudes and IB (Cohen-Charash and
Spector, 2001; Colquitt et al., 2001).
Katz and Kahn (1978) described characteristics of IB as employeespositive work
attitudes and inspirations that exceed their job descriptions or responsibilities. Therefore, it
can be argued that employeesIB relies on their perceptions of their exchange relationships
with their organizations. It is important to understand that employeremployee
relationships can be classified as either economic exchange or social exchange. An
economic exchange relationship is defined as a proper reward agreement, which endorses
the particular amounts to be exchanged and required through legal approvals, whereas a
social exchange relationship has been considered as one person does another a favor and
while there is a general expectation of some future return, its exact nature is definitely not
stipulated in advance(Blau, 1964a, p. 93) and is left to the discretion of the one who makes
it (Blau, 1964a). In the work environment, fair treatment of workers by an organization,
while establishing both economic and social exchange relations, is known as organizational
justice. Although empirical studies and meta-analytic reviews have confirmed this
dimension of justice and revealed that justice perceptions are commanding predictors of
work-related outcomes, there are some key questions that still remain underexplored. One of
the main questions is as follows: Can these results be generalized cross-culturally or does
culture play an important role in employeesperception of organizational justice? Although
there is an extensive amount of research on organizational justice, we have comparatively
very little knowledge of how country culture influences employeesperception of
organizational justice (Brockner et al., 2001; Leung and Tong, 2004; Li and Cropanzano,
2009; Skarlicki, 2001). It is, therefore, proposed that researchers should consider studying
organizational justice through leading cultural benchmarks of the country where their
organization operates.
Researchers using Hofstede (1983) have identified that, in individualistic cultures, such
as North America or the United Kingdom, emphasis is on independent self-construal,
whereas, in contrast, in collectivist cultures, such as China, Pakistan and India, emphasis
is on dependent self-construal. Hence, individuals from the USA and UK tend to be more
sensitive about injustice, as it may trade off the expression of their distinctiveness and
deter accomplishment of individual goals (Li and Cropanzano, 2009), whereas individuals
in collectivist cultures are ready to endure more and significant amounts of injustice, as
maintaining personal harmony is more important to them. Brockner et al. (2001) revealed
that the propensity for employees to react less positively (lower organizational
commitment) to insignificant levels of voice is most significant in low power distance
cultures, such as USA, UK and Germany, rather than in high-power distance cultures,
such as Mexico, India and China. They conclude that individuals respond especially
unfavorably to the absence of voice, as not having voice might be perceived as an
infringement of cultural norms and values. Similarly, the relationships between

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