Distributive Injustice: Leadership Adherence to Social Norm Pressures and the Negative Impact on Organizational Commitment

  •  LaJuan Perronoski Fuller    


The social norm theory suggests that leaders who rely on perceived norms (misperceptions) rather than actual norms may produce unfair work advantages. Furthermore, social norms alter ethical leadership behaviors. However, leadership adheres to social norms due to society's implied compliance in the absence of distributive injustice measurements. Therefore, distributive injustice may be a more salient predictor than distributive justice on affective organizational commitment. The aim of this study was to fill gaps in literature on distributive injustice and investigate negative influences on employees’ affective commitment. A distributive injustice scale was designed using employee perceptions of policies that create unfair advantages and meritless rewards. The distributive injustice scale consisted of 14 items. A survey was sent to 481 full-time employees in various industries throughout the U.S. Correlation and regression model output indicated that unfair advantages and meritless rewards had a negative relationship and influence on employees’ affective commitment. Social norm policies that create unfair advantages and meritless rewards can be perceived as a divisionary tacit that negatively impacts affective commitment.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.