Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 283–291 | Cite as

Fairness, legal compliance, and organizational commitment

  • Daniel J. Koys


Attribution theory is used to hypothesize a positive relationship between one's perception that a fairness motive underlies personnel/human resource management activities and one's organizational commitment. The hypothesis is tested via a survey of 48 operating managers in a Midwestern department store chain. Using hierarchical regression to control for job satisfaction and length of service, a significant positive relationship exists between commitment and the perception that a fairness motive underlies personnel/human resource management activities. Commitment is not significantly related to the perception that a legal compliance motive underlies the activities.

Key Words

organizational commitment organizational culture perceptions of justice employee rights 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cook, J., & Wall, T. (1980). New work attitude measures of trust, organizational commitment, and personal need non-fulfillment.Journal of Occupational Psychology, 53, 39–52.Google Scholar
  2. Eisenberger, R., Huntington, R., Hutchison, S., & Sowa, D. (1986). Perceived organizational support.Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 500–507.Google Scholar
  3. Freeman, R. B. & Medoff, J. L. (1984).What Do Unions Do? New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  4. Gaertner, K. N., & Nollen, S. D. (1987). The effects of internal labor markets on employee commitment,Proceedings of the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the Industrial Relations Research Association, 507–515. Madison, WI: IRRA.Google Scholar
  5. Hoffman, M. L. (1986). Affect, cognition, and motivation. In Sorrentino, R. M., & Higgins, E. T. (Eds.),Motivation and Cognition: Foundations of Social Behavior, 244–280, New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  6. Hrebiniak, L. G. (1974). Effects of job level and participation on employee attitudes and perceptions of influence.Academy of Management Journal, 17, 649–662.Google Scholar
  7. Kelley, H. H. (1972). Attribution in social interaction. In Jones, E. E., Kanouse, D. E., Kelley, H. H., Nisbett, R. E., Valins, S., & Weiner, B. (Eds.),Attribution: Perceiving the Causes of Behavior. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.Google Scholar
  8. Kelley, H. H. & Michela, J. L. (1980). Attribution theory and research.Annual Review of Psychology, 31, 457–501.Google Scholar
  9. Milkovich, G. T., & Boudreau, J. W. (1991).Human Resource Management. Plano, TX: Business Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  10. Mottaz, C. J. (1988). Determinants of organizational commitment.Human Relations, 41, 467–482.Google Scholar
  11. Mowday, R. T., Porter, L. W. & Steers, R. M. (1982).Employee-Organization Linkages: The Psychology of Commitment, Absenteeism, and Turnover. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  12. Ogilvie, J. R. (1986). The role of human resource management practices in predicting organizational commitment.Group & Organization Studies, 11, 335–359.Google Scholar
  13. O'Reilly, C., III & Chatman, J. (1986). Organizational commitment and psychological attachment: The effects of compliance, identification, and internalization on prosocial behavior.Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 492–499.Google Scholar
  14. Schmitt, N. W., & Klimoski, R. J. (1991).Research Methods in Human Resources Management, Cincinnati: South-Western Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  15. Smith, P. C., Kendell, L. M., & Hulin, C. L. (1969).The Measurement of Satisfaction in Work and Retirement Chicago: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  16. Tsui, A. S. (1987). Defining the activities and effectiveness of the human resource department: A multiple constituency approach.Human Resource Management, 26 (Spring), 35–69.Google Scholar
  17. Velasquez, M. G. & Bowie, N. E. (1988). PACE Conference on Business Ethics. St. Charles, IL.Google Scholar
  18. Walton, R. E. (1985). Toward a strategy of eliciting employce commitment based on policies of mutuality. In Walton, R. E., & Lawrence, R. (Eds.)HRM Trends & Challenges, 35–65, Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel J. Koys
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementDePaul UniversityChicago

Personalised recommendations