This article summary is provided by the IPR Organizational Communications Research Center. 

This study explores how employees’ perception of organizational justice – procedural justice and interactional justice – affects their relationship with organizations, job trust, engagement, and turnover intention. Organizational justice is a key concept in organizational science because it is closely linked to workplace attitudes and behaviors. It refers to the extent to which employees perceive their organizations as being fair and ethical in treating them. This study focuses on two types of justice. Procedural justice highlights the extent to which employee voice is valued in the procedures used to decide outcome allocation. Employees perceive their organizations to be fair if these procedures are consistent, accurate, and objective. Interactional justice refers to the perceived fairness of how decisions are made by the management which emphasizes the human, interpersonal side of organizational practice. The current study posits that procedural justice and interactional justice lead to lower employee turnover intention directly and indirectly through fostering quality employee-organization relationships (EOR) and employee job engagement.  EOR is defined as the perceived quality of interactions between an organization and its employees based on mutual obligations and is featured by relational trust, commitment, satisfaction, and share of control. Job engagement is a positive, fulfilling state of mind at work featured by vigor, dedication, and absorption.

This study surveyed 438 employees working for a large beauty company in South Korea. All participants were female, and the average age was 34 years old with 4.7 years of experience with the company. This service industry was selected because high turnover rate is a major concern for service industries, whose success rely on sales force. Two-step structural equation modeling was conducted to test the proposed model, which showed a good fit to the data.

Key Findings

  1. Lower perception of procedural justice and interactional justice is positively related to lower quality EOR.
  2. There is a positive association between EOR and job engagement.
  3. Lower EOR and job engagement are associated with higher turnover intention.
  4. EOR reduces turnover intention through increased level of employee job engagement, and the two types of justice lead to lower turnover intention through the mediating role of EOR and job engagement.

Implications for practice
Organizations, especially those in the service industries, should 1) pay attention to organizational justice as key drivers of employees’ turnover intention, 2) increase employees’ perception of organizational justice by facilitating employees’ input in decision making, communicating managerial decisions to employees in a transparent manner, ensuring ethical treatment of employees, and 3) recognize the positive role of quality EOR and job engagement in inhibiting high turnover intention.

Minjeong Kang, Ph. D., is an assistant professor and teaches strategic communication courses at the Media School, Indiana University. Her research interests are understanding the concept of public engagement in various stakeholder contexts such as member, employee, and volunteer relations and its positive impacts in eliciting supportive communication and behavioral outcomes.

MinJung Sung Ph.D., is a professor of public relations at Chung-Ang University and teaches corporate public relations, public relations management and crisis communication. She also works as a communication advisor for AmorePacific, Korea’s top cosmetics manufacture, in the areas of corporate communication and marketing communication. Prior to joining Chung-Ang University, she was an assistant professor at the Baruch College, City University of New York. Her main research interests include strategic management of public relations, corporate communication strategy and crisis/issues management.

Kang, M., & Sung, M. (2019). To leave or not to leave: the effects of perceptions of organizational justice on employee turnover intention via employee-organization relationship and employee job engagement. Journal of Public Relations Research, 1-24.

Location of Article
This article is available online at: (abstract free, purchase full article)

Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
Follow on Twitter

Leave a Reply