Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study the mediating role of organizational trust in the relationship between perceived organizational support and organizational justice on the one hand and their consequences, namely employees’ in-role performance and their levels of organizational cynicism on the other. Along with this, accounting for organizational trust as a mediator and organizational cynicism as a critical consequence the authors aim to contribute to the literature pertaining to these variables.
Design/methodology/approach – Random sampling technique was applied. Data were collected from 237 managerial-level employees and 156 of their immediate supervisors of seven privately owned manufacturing and service sector organizations in India. A questionnaire comprising 49 items pertaining to the study constructs was administered. Item analyses were carried out to estimate the reliability of the instrument. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to establish the instrument’s construct validity and uniqueness of the study constructs. The hypotheses of the study were tested and competing path models were compared using structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques with maximum likelihood estimates. Findings – All scales were found to have acceptable reliability estimates. Results of the confirmatory factor analysis established that the manifest variables loaded significantly on their latent constructs and that the latent constructs were empirically distinct. This established the scales’ construct validity. The results of the SEM procedures indicated that all hypotheses of the study could be accepted as statistically significant and that organizational trust mediates the path between the independent and the dependent variables. Research limitations/implications – The study was cross-sectional in design and, as such precluded causal inferences. Data were collected from private sector firms operating in India, and hence, there was a limitation regarding the findings as far as cross-national generalization and generalizability among employees of state-owned enterprises were concerned.
Practical implications – The study identified some practical implications related to its findings. These include meeting the affiliative needs of employees, managers as organizational agents must manifest organizational support by regularly interacting with their subordinates, and that managers should address their reportees not as members of a given department but as members of teams and allocate job assignments accordingly.
Social implications – The findings of the study lend credibility to an interplay between social exchange ideologies, equity sensitivities, and fairness heuristics. Additionally, the results of this study extend the social exchange-equity theory literature which has placed social exchange variables as predictors of workplace outcomes in an Indian context. This, further leads to the enhancement of positive consequences such as task performance,and reduces negative outcomes such as cynical attitudes towards the organization.
Originality/value – The present research is among the first of its kind to examine the study variables vis-à- vis managerial employees working in India. This study would also qualify to be among the very few studies in India with reference to the social exchange, equity, and fairness heuristics theories.