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It’s not justice if it’s not for all: cross-level interaction of interactional justice differentiation and supervisory justice on psychological safety and conflict

Gul Afshan (Business Administration Department, Sukkur IBA University, Sukkur, Pakistan)
Carolina Serrano-Archimi (Aix-Marseille University, IAE, Cergam, France)
Amir Riaz (Management Sciences Department, COMSATS Islamabad, Lahore, Pakistan)
Muhammad Kashif (GIFT Business School, GIFT University, Gujranwala, Pakistan)
Mansoor Ahmed Khuhro (Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Sanghar Campus, Shaheed Benazirbad, Pakistan)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 26 May 2022

Issue publication date: 26 September 2022

426

Abstract

Purpose

Building on social exchange and deontic justice theory, this study aims to examine the relationship between supervisory justice (i.e. interactional, procedural and distributive) and conflict (i.e. relationship, process and task) through subordinates’ perceptions of psychological safety. Moreover, the authors hypothesize that interactional justice differentiation (IJD) within a workgroup at the group level interacts with supervisory justice at the individual level, affecting subordinates’ psychological safety and conflict.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using a survey conducted among 378 service sector (banks, hospitals and universities) employees working under 54 supervisors.

Findings

Multi-level data analysis demonstrates that supervisory justice positively influences psychological safety, negatively affecting conflict. Moreover, psychological safety mediates the supervisory justice–conflict relationship. A cross-level interaction partially supports the conditional indirect effect of IJD in the supervisory justice–conflict relationship via psychological safety.

Originality/value

Following moral principles based on a deontic perspective, this study stretches the understanding of how to treat employees in a workgroup while creating a healthier working environment to minimize conflict fairly. This study extends the limited research on supervisory justice by conceptualizing employees’ perceptions of justice beyond an individual-level analysis.

Keywords

Citation

Afshan, G., Serrano-Archimi, C., Riaz, A., Kashif, M. and Khuhro, M.A. (2022), "It’s not justice if it’s not for all: cross-level interaction of interactional justice differentiation and supervisory justice on psychological safety and conflict", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 782-811. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-08-2021-0124

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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