Document Type




Publication Date

Winter 2017


Pittsburg State University

Source Publication

Journal of Managerial Issues

Source ISSN



To date very little research on organizational justice and work attitudes has focused on what starts the process that leads to these perceptions. A considerable amount of organizational research is focused on the end result (e.g., employees’ perceptions, attitudes, or behaviors), which can become difficult to effectively manage or change after-the-fact in a timely or productive manner (Tekleab et al., 2005). In this paper, two studies are conducted that explore a variety of events employees might notice and how they influence workplace outcomes. Study One explores 16 trigger events from prior research and surveys employees in a manufacturing organization about the events, and identifying 24 additional events. Study Two examines relationships between the trigger events and outcomes of pay and job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intent to leave, using organizational justice as a mechanism for sensemaking. Results from Study Two show that trigger events significantly predicted all four workplace attitudes. Procedural justice was significantly related to all dependent variables, interactional justice was significantly related only to job satisfaction and intention to leave, marginally unrelated to pay satisfaction, and unrelated to organizational commitment. Distributive justice was significantly related to job satisfaction, intention to leave, and pay satisfaction, but not organizational commitment. Seven of the 48 interaction terms examined were significant. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.


Published version. Journal of Managerial Issues, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Winter 2017): 343-364. Permalink. © 2017 Pittsburg State University. Used with permission.