, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 249-256

Justice and organizational citizenship: A commentary on the state of the science

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Abstract

The present article discusses the state of the science regarding the connection between organizational justice and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) as reflected by the articles included in this issue. The research described in these articles reaches a conclusion in need of further elaboration—namely, that people will behave altruistically toward the oroganizations in which they work when they believe those organizations have treated them fairly. Various conceptual issues are discussed. These include: the willingness of people to express inequity distress by withholding OCB, the relative importance of procedural justice compared to distributive justice as a determinant of OCB (especially the social aspects of procedural justice), and the extent to which a reduction in OCB may reflect a desire to influence another individual, or the organization in general. A variety of methodological issues are also discussed. In this connection, it is suggested that correlational, questionnaire measures be supplemented by open-ended interview studies as well as laboratory investigations. Moreover, if questionnaires continue to be used, then it is recommended that attempts be made to improve the validity of both measures of justice and OCB.