The difference a manager can make: organizational justice and knowledge worker commitment

Thompson, Marc and Heron, Paul (2005) The difference a manager can make: organizational justice and knowledge worker commitment. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16 (3). pp. 383-404.


The quality of the employment relationship is argued to be central to knowledge workers' committment, which in turn supports knowledge creation. Given the high levels of discretion enjoyed by knowledge workers, managers' decisions over work distribution, content and resources become more critical for commitment and knowledge creation. However, little research has explored how justice perceptions shape the quality of the employment relationship and the consequences for committment. Using a sample of 429 R&D workers from across six science and technology-based firms this paper explores the three-way interaction of procedural and interactional justice with the psychological contract to predict knowledge worker committnent. We found that when employees simultaneously perceived high levels of procedural and interactional justice this moderated the relationship between psychological contract breach and knowledge worker commitment. Furthermore, where there was contract breach, positive perceptions of procedural justice moderated the relationship with commitment. However, in the context of contract fulfilment, low perceived levels of interactional justice predicted lower comparative levels of committment, regardless of the level of procedural justice. The results suggest that the perceived quality of the relationship between knowledge workers and their manager can make a positive difference in the context of breach of the psychological contract and this in turn can help maintain levels of commitment important for knowledge creation.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Organizational justice; psychological contract; commitment; knowledge workers; knowledge creation
Subject(s): Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Global business
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2012 14:17
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2018 13:59

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