Social Status and Aggressiveness as Moderators of the Relationship Between Interactional Justice and Workplace Deviance


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Karl Aquino, Department of Business Administration, College of Business and Economics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 197 16. E-mail: aquinok@be.udel.ed.


Workplace deviance is a prevalent and costly problem for organizations. This study examines the relationship between interactional justice, a specific type of organizational justice perception that reflects how a person is treated by an authority, and 2 categories of deviant behavior. Based on a person-situation model, we expected the relation between interactional justice and deviance to be stronger when the employee is high rather than low in aggressiveness. Drawing from prior research suggesting that people with low status react defensively to self-invalidating events, we hypothesized that the social status variables of hierarchical position, gender, and race would also moderate the relation between interactional justice and deviance. Finally, we propose a 3-way interaction involving aggressiveness, status, and interactional justice. Data were collected from 192 employees of a public sector organization. The results provide support for several of the hypothesized interactions involving aggressiveness, social status variables, and interactional justice.