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Inequity, conflict, and compliance dilemma as causes of cyberloafing

Pablo Zoghbi‐Manrique‐de‐Lara (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria University, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 24 April 2009




Prior research has found empirical evidence that procedural justice is an antecedent of cyberloafing in the workplace. The purpose of this paper is to explore why that association is possible. It is argued that perceptions of procedural justice affect cyberloafing because unfair procedure places an employee in conflict with the organizational rules. Accordingly, this paper predicts that it is normative conflict rather than procedural justice that really prompts employees to retaliate against the organization by engaging in cyberloafing.


Data are collected from 147 (19.4 percent) of the 758 non‐teaching staff at a public university where internet usage policy to combat its improper use has been increasingly rigid. Structural equation modeling is used to test the predicted mediation.


The results show that procedural justice is an antecedent of the normative conflict that fully mediates the link between procedural justice and cyberloafing.

Research limitations/implications

The subjects in this study reflect job conditions that are peculiar to the public sector. This may limit the ability to extrapolate the findings to the private sector. The findings provide a new explanation for the mechanics of the link between unfair/fair procedural perceptions and cyberloafing.

Practical implications

The findings contribute to a better understanding of the way procedural justice is able to monitor cyberloafing, and discusses how actions designed to promote procedural justice may be useful to the efficient management of normative conflict, hence, the normative process is able to stifle cyberloafing.


Employee perceptions of normative conflict are shown to mediate the relationship between procedural justice and cyberloafing. This is the first empirical test of this mediation.



Zoghbi‐Manrique‐de‐Lara, P. (2009), "Inequity, conflict, and compliance dilemma as causes of cyberloafing", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 188-201.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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