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Employee justice perceptions and coworker relationships

Monica Forret (Department of Managerial Studies, St Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa, USA)
Mary Sue Love (Department of Management and Marketing, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 9 May 2008




The purpose of this investigation is to explore whether perceptions of organizational justice are related to coworker trust and morale. As jobs have become more broadly defined and collaboration with colleagues has become increasingly important for accomplishing work, coworker relationships are especially critical to manage effectively.


Survey packets were distributed to 364 non‐supervisory employees at six small companies in a large Midwestern city in the USA. Useable surveys were returned from 264 respondents for a response rate of 72 percent.


The results showed that distributive, procedural, and interactional justice perceptions are related to perceptions of coworkers. The distribution of rewards, organizational policies and procedures, and interpersonal treatment by supervisors are related to coworker trust and morale.

Research limitations/implications

This study was a cross‐sectional field study with the data collected at one point in time, precluding statements regarding causality. In addition, common method variance is a concern given the use of a self‐report survey.

Practical implications

The results highlight the importance of fairness in rewards, procedures, and treatment for productive coworker relationships. Suggestions are provided for managers to enhance perceptions of distributive, procedural, and interactional justice in the workplace.


Prior research on justice has focused primarily on individual and organizational outcomes. The study adds to this research base by examining whether perceptions of justice are associated with the quality of coworker relationships.



Forret, M. and Sue Love, M. (2008), "Employee justice perceptions and coworker relationships", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 248-260.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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