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Organisational justice and change in justice as predictors of employee health: the Whitehall II study

Kivimäki, M.; Ferrie, J.E.; Head, J.; Shipley, M.J.; Vahtera, J.; Marmot, M.G.; (2004) Organisational justice and change in justice as predictors of employee health: the Whitehall II study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , 58 (11) pp. 931-937. 10.1136/jech.2003.019026. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: Organisational justice has been proposed as a new way to examine the impact of psychosocial work environment on employee health. This article studied the justice of interpersonal treatment by supervisors (the relational component of organisational justice) as a predictor of health. Design: Prospective cohort study. Phase 1 (1985–88) measured relational justice, job demands, job control, social support at work, effort-reward imbalance, and self rated health. Relational justice was assessed again at phase 2 (1989–90) and self rated health at phase 2 and phase 3 (1991–93). Setting: 20 civil service departments originally located in London. Participants: 10 308 civil servants (6895 men, 3413 women) aged 35–55. Outcome measure: Self rated health. Main results: Men exposed to low justice at phase 1 or adverse change in justice between phase 1 and phase 2 were at higher risk of poor health at phase 2 and phase 3. A favourable change in justice was associated with reduced risk. Adjustment for other stress indicators had little effect on results. In women, low justice at phase 1 predicted poor health at phase 2 and phase 3 before but not after adjustment for other stress indicators. Adverse change in justice was associated with worse health prospects irrespective of adjustments. Conclusions: The extent to which people are treated with justice in workplaces seems to predict their health independently of established stressors at work. Evidence on reduced health risk after favourable change in organisational justice implies a promising area for health interventions at workplace.

Type: Article
Title: Organisational justice and change in justice as predictors of employee health: the Whitehall II study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jech.2003.019026
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech.2003.019026
Language: English
Keywords: Organisational justice, job control, job demands, social support at work, effort-reward imbalance, psychosocial factors, occupational stress, self rated health
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/5555
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