Exploration of Worker Perceived Workplace Organizational Justice for Injured Workers Who Have Participated in a Return to Work Program
Larmour-Trode, Sherrey Lynn
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Recent interest in organizational justice and disability management has resulted in this thesis, the purpose of which was to examine the relationship between perceived organizational justice and return to work (RTW). Three studies were conducted to this end. First, a scoping study mapped current literature and identified gaps in the justice and RTW literature. Secondly, a phenomenological study was conducted with 12 injured workers in a RTW program to examine their “lived experience” of justice and to identify emergent themes around justice and RTW. Finally, a quantitative study was conducted with injured workers who were participating in RTW programs to determine the relationship between organizational justice, organizational support and RTW outcomes. The scoping study identified 14 justice/RTW articles that were reflected within three themes: claims, RTW interventions and outcomes. The scoping study demonstrated that there was very little research examining justice and RTW and that it was important to continue to explore this area. The phenomenological study revealed in five major themes: consistency of treatment of injured workers; accommodation equals fair treatment; outcomes of fair treatment; intensity of injured worker response; and support and 5 subthemes related to the experience of justice. The results of the quantitative study demonstrated that justice is positively correlated with job satisfaction, affective commitment and support, while being negatively correlated with intent to withdraw. Justice had no correlation with continuance commitment or duration. Support was positively correlated with job satisfaction and affective commitment, but not correlated with continuance commitment, intent to withdraw or duration. Further hierarchical linear regression analysis revealed that support mediates the effect of justice on job satisfaction and affective commitment. Justice accounts for ten percent of the variance in intent to withdraw. The results of the thesis show that justice is an important psychosocial factor to consider in RTW. Consideration is also given to how the results of these studies add to both social exchange theory; a major theory within the justice literature, and the disability management literature. This thesis provides recommendations for practice and future scholarship.