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Using Social Exchange Theory to Distinguish Procedural from Interactional Justice

Using Social Exchange Theory to Distinguish Procedural from Interactional Justice

Abstract

Organizational justice researchers have long debated the distinction between procedural and interactional justice. Recently, several researchers have proposed that procedural and interactional justice can be distinguished from one another using social exchange theory. In particular, procedural justice applies more to the exchange between the individual and employing organization, whereas interactional justice generally refers to the exchange between the individual and his or her supervisor. If this theory is correct, procedural justice should be more closely associated with reactions toward upper management and organizational policies, whereas interactional justice should be more closely associated with reactions toward one’s supervisor and job performance. These predictions were tested in a field study involving approximately 107 employees and their supervisors. Predictions were generally confirmed, though there were some unexpected findings.
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