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The impact of manager and top management identification on the relationship between perceived organizational justice and change‐oriented behavior

Sebastian Fuchs (Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Middlesex University, London, UK)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 30 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is threefold: to better understand what predicts individuals pro‐change behavior (PCB) and anti‐change behavior (ACB) during organizational renewal with respect to organizational justice perceptions, given its significance for change intervention success; to identify and empirically test two new foci of organizational identification, namely manager and top management identification (TMID); and to investigate how these two new identification foci affect the relationship between various types of organizational justice and change‐oriented behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data from 137 market research employees on their perceptions of organizational distributive, procedural and interactional justice, manager and TMID and PCB and ACB were collected. Multiple hierarchical regression analysis was used for testing direct relationships between organizational justice and change‐oriented behavior and moderation effects of manager and TMID on these relationships.

Findings

The findings indicate that all types of justice predict PCB and that, in addition, interactional justice perceptions are negatively related to employees' ACB. Neither manager nor TMID had a moderating effect on the relationship between organizational justice and PCB, but both moderated the relationship between distributive justice perceptions and ACB. Moreover, identification with top management moderated the relationship between procedural justice perceptions and ACB.

Research limitations/implications

The use of self‐reported measures on PCB and ACB may present a too optimistic reflection of people's actual behavior during organizational change based on social desirability considerations in organizational research.

Practical implications

The findings contribute to a better understanding of how organizations and change agents can foster PCB and what role a psychological bond of employees with managers and an organization's top management can play during change interventions. Specifically, organizational leaders should seek both some professional and personal credentials in order to tap into the positive self‐concept element of identification and also adopt a leadership style during change which is associated with charismatic leadership behaviors. Scholars in the areas of organizational behavior and I/O psychology benefit from this study as it sheds light on the antecedents of PCB and ACB and offers two new identification foci that interact with the variables at hand.

Originality/value

The creation of manager and TMID as new foci in organizational identification research and their use as a moderating force on the relationship between both PCB and ACB is unprecedented.

Keywords

Citation

Fuchs, S. (2011), "The impact of manager and top management identification on the relationship between perceived organizational justice and change‐oriented behavior", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 555-583. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437731111161067

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited