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Moderated mediation model of relationship between perceived organizational justice and counterproductive work behavior

Mingzheng Wu (Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Xiaoling Sun (Department of Psychology, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, China)
Delin Zhang (Department of Anesthesiology, the First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Ci Wang (Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management

ISSN: 2040-8005

Article publication date: 10 October 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to develop a moderated mediation model to explain the relationship between perceived organizational justice and the counterproductive work behavior (CWB) of Chinese public servants. In this model, the authors assumed that job burnout mediates the relationship between perceived organizational justice and CWB and that moral identity moderates the relationship between job burnout and CWB.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 210 public servants in China participated in this study, and their characteristics were measured by self-report tools. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to test the moderated mediation model.

Findings

Analysis of the data demonstrated that perceived organizational justice, job burnout and moral identity influenced CWB. Moral identity moderated the relationship between job burnout and CWB, such that individuals with low moral identity are more likely to engage in CWB. Moreover, job burnout mediated the effect of perceived organizational justice on CWB, and the mediating effect of job burnout was moderated by moral identity. The indirect effect of perceived organizational justice on CWB through job burnout was significant among individuals with low moral identity but not among individuals with high moral identity.

Research limitations/implications

The findings highlight the self-regulatory function of moral identity in preventing CWB.

Practical implications

The study offers several significant suggestions to reduce CWB in Chinese public sector administration, such as by improving organizational justice perception, recruiting and selecting individuals with reference to their moral identity and monitoring employees’ job burnout regularly.

Originality/value

The authors developed and verified a moderated mediated model on the relationship between perceived organizational justice and CWB. The study revealed that job burnout has a mediating effect on the perceived organizational justice–CWB relation, providing important insights into the processes through which perceived organizational justice affects CWB.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The study was supported by the Humanities and Social Science Foundation of the Ministry of Education of China (Grant No. 10YJCXLX047, 14YJC190016), the Philosophy and Social Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province, China (Grant No. 11JCJY03YB), Hangzhou Social and Scientific Program (Grant No. B13JY04), and the Interdisciplinary Research Seed Foundation for the Excellent Youth Scholars of Zhejiang University (Grant No. JCZZ-2013011).

Citation

Wu, M., Sun, X., Zhang, D. and Wang, C. (2016), "Moderated mediation model of relationship between perceived organizational justice and counterproductive work behavior", Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 64-81. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCHRM-07-2016-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited