Organizational justice, psychological distress, and work engagement in Japanese workers

  • Akiomi InoueEmail author
  • Norito Kawakami
  • Masao Ishizaki
  • Akihito Shimazu
  • Masao Tsuchiya
  • Masaji Tabata
  • Miki Akiyama
  • Akiko Kitazume
  • Mitsuyo Kuroda
Original Article



To investigate the cross-sectional association between organizational justice (i.e., procedural justice and interactional justice) and psychological distress or work engagement, as well as the mediating roles of other job stressors (i.e., job demands and job control, or their combination, effort–reward imbalance [ERI], and worksite support).


A total of 243 workers (185 males and 58 females) from a manufacturing factory in Japan were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire including the Organizational Justice Questionnaire, Job Content Questionnaire, Effort–Reward Imbalance Questionnaire, K6 scale, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, and other covariates. Multiple mediation analyses with the bootstrap technique were conducted.


In the bivariate analysis, procedural justice and interactional justice were significantly and negatively associated with psychological distress; they were significantly and positively associated with work engagement. In the mediation analysis, reward at work (or ERI) significantly mediated between procedural justice or interactional justice and psychological distress; worksite support significantly mediated between procedural justice or interactional justice and work engagement.


The effects of organizational justice on psychological distress seem to be mediated by reward at work (or ERI) while those regarding work engagement may be mediated by worksite support to a large extent, at least in Japanese workers.


Organizational justice Job demands-control model Effort–reward imbalance model Psychological distress Work engagement 



The present study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) 2004–2007 (No. 16390170) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. The final preparation of the manuscript was partially supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) 2008–2009 (No. 20240062) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akiomi Inoue
    • 1
    Email author
  • Norito Kawakami
    • 1
  • Masao Ishizaki
    • 2
  • Akihito Shimazu
    • 1
  • Masao Tsuchiya
    • 1
  • Masaji Tabata
    • 3
  • Miki Akiyama
    • 4
    • 5
  • Akiko Kitazume
    • 5
  • Mitsuyo Kuroda
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mental Health, Graduate School of MedicineThe University of TokyoBunkyo-kuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Social and Environmental Medicine (Hygiene)Kanazawa Medical UniversityUchinadaJapan
  3. 3.Ishikawa Health Service AssociationKanazawaJapan
  4. 4.Division of Nursing, Faculty of HealthcareTokyo Healthcare UniversityShinagawa-kuJapan
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Graduate School of MedicineThe University of TokyoBunkyo-kuJapan

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