High-involvement Work Processes, Trust, and Employee Engagement: The Mediating Role of Perceptions of Organisational Justice and Politics
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A still growing body of empirical research has demonstrated that high-involvement work processes (HIWPs) have positive relationships with various measures of organisational effectives. However, critical scholars maintain the following: First, the “how” question of the relationships between HIWPs and outcomes has been rarely investigated, thus leaving a gap in our understanding of the underlying mechanisms through which HRM affects outcomes. Second, the mutual gains model implies that the goal of HRM is to produce beneficial effects for both employees and their organisations. However, research to date has largely focussed on ways to enhance organisational performance, while employee concerns have been a secondary consideration. Third, most studies examining the relationships between HIWPs and outcomes have been cross-sectional. While, methodological researchers argue that since organisational processes are not static, rather develop, change, and evolve overtime, a longitudinal design is better than cross-sectional designs. To address these concerns, which frequently appear in the HRM literature, the primary aim of this study was to explore the mediating role of employees’ perceptions (the so called “black box”) of organisational justice and organisational politics in the relationship between HIWPs and employee outcomes (employee engagement and trust in employer). A secondary aim of this study was to test the proposed model using a longitudinal design. Using a longitudinal design with two data collection periods separated by approximately six months, data were gathered through self-completion questionnaires from non-managerial employees working in the domestic private banks in Pakistan. At Time One, 1554 employees from 233 branches of 14 domestic private banks participated in the survey. Of these employees, 970 participated at Time Two. Data were analysed using structural equation modelling through SPSS AMOS v. 24. The cross-sectional findings (n = 1554) indicated that HIWPs are positively associated with perceptions of organisational justice, employee engagement, trust in employer, and negatively associated with perceptions of organisational politics. Procedural justice and organisational politics partially mediated the relationship between HIWPs and employee engagement; while, informational justice partially mediated the relationship between HIWPs and trust in employer. However, no support was found for the mediating role of other justice dimensions in the relationship between HIWPs and employee outcomes. The longitudinal structural model (n = 970) was then tested using the change scores method (Δ = T2 – T1). The overall findings from the longitudinal structural model validated the cross-sectional findings. However, a few changes in the mediated effects took place suggesting that, besides procedural justice and organisational politics, distributive justice may also be a potential mediator in the relationship between HIWPs and employee engagement and trust in employer. Implications and limitations of these findings are discussed.