Organizational Justice and Individuals' Withdrawal: Unlocking the Influence of Emotional Exhaustion


Michael S. Cole, Texas Christian University, M. J. Neeley School of Business, Department of Management, Fort Worth, TX 76109, USA (


This study examined the relationships between organizational justice and withdrawal outcomes and whether emotional exhaustion was a mediator of these linkages. Data were obtained from 869 military personnel and civil servants; using structural equation modelling techniques, we examined an integrative model that combines justice and stress research. Our findings suggest that individuals' justice perceptions are related to their psychological health. As predicted, emotional exhaustion mediated the linkages between distributive and interpersonal (but not procedural and informational) justice and individuals' withdrawal reactions. Results showed that distributive and interpersonal justice negatively related to emotional exhaustion and emotional exhaustion negatively related to organizational commitment which, in turn, negatively influenced turnover intentions. These findings were observed even when controlling for the presence of contingent-reward behaviours provided by supervisors and individuals' psychological empowerment.