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The University of Southampton

When Does Procedural Fairness Promote Cooperative Employee Behaviour?

Integrating Empowering Leadership Types in Identity Based Justice Models

Marius M. H. van Dijke
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

We examined how procedural fairness interacts with empowering leadership to promote cooperative employee behaviour. We focused on two core empowering leadership types—encouraging self-development and encouraging independent action. An experiment revealed that leaders encouraging self-development made employees desire status information more (i.e., information regarding one’s value to the organization). Conversely, leaders encouraging independent action decreased employees’ desire for this type of information. Subsequently, a multisource field study (with a U.S. and German sample) showed that encouraging self-development strengthened the relationship between procedural fairness and employee OCB, and this relationship was mediated by employees’ self-perceived status. Conversely, encouraging independent action weakened the procedural fairness-OCB relationship, as mediated by self-perceived status. This research integrates empowering leadership styles into identity based fairness theories, highlighting that multiple leader behaviorus should be examined in concert and that empowering leadership can have unintended consequences.

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