First Advisor

Talya N. Bauer

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Systems Science: Psychology


Systems Science: Psychology




Employees -- Attitudes, Organizational justice, Trust



Physical Description

1 online resource (xi, 291 pages)


The study of interpersonal relationships continues to be a major focus of theory and research in a wide array of disciplines. The present research examined one of the most prevalent and significant interpersonal relationships in the workplace context—the dyadic relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate. This research examined the relationships between trust, quality of the leader-member exchange relationship (LMX; a measure of the quality of the dyadic relationship), perceived organizational justice, and several employee attitudes and behaviors that are important to individual workers and the organizations in which they work.

Data were collected in both laboratory and field settings. The laboratory setting allowed for the manipulation of organizational justice, which permitted inferences regarding the causal effects of organizational justice on the relationships between trust and LMX and the outcome variables examined. The field setting allowed for the testing of the hypothesized relationships in a “real world” environment in which external contextual factors (e.g., industry and organizational differences) were naturally controlled.

Two-hundred and twenty-three currently employed undergraduate students participated in the laboratory study. In the field study, data were collected in a Fortune 500 company from 113 subordinates and their supervisors. Results from both studies indicated that perceptions of trust in one's supervisor were strongly related to LMX. Importantly, in the field study, quality of the dyadic relationship was modeled as an emergent property of the perceptions of both subordinates and supervisors. Perceptions of LMX were related to a sense of overall fairness, which was jointly determined by procedural and distributive justice. Perceptions of overall fairness were related to job satisfaction, intention to quit, organizational commitment, in-role job performance, organizational citizenship behavior, and organizational retaliatory behaviors. Additionally, results of the laboratory study indicated that established perceptions of trust in one's supervisor and LMX were adversely affected by violations of either procedural or distributive justice. This adverse effect was greatest when both procedural and distributive justice were low. The theoretical and practical implications of the research are discussed.


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