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Justice in the U.S. National Park Service: The Antecedents of Job Satisfaction

Jin Y. Chung, Chang Su Jung, Gerard T. Kyle, James F. Petrick

Abstract


Despite the fact that procedural justice in an organization has been considered one of the major factors influencing several important outcomes associated with organization success, few empirical studies have been conducted that examine the effect of leadership on procedural justice. In addition, although organizational theorists have approached the styles and theories of perceived leadership from diverse perspectives, servant-leadership theory has rarely been investigated compared to other leadership theories. Thus, in this study, the effect of servant leadership and procedural justice on job satisfaction was examined. Structural equation modeling was used to test a hypothesized model for full-time U.S. National Park Service (NPS) employees. Four latent variables including trust in leader, leader support, procedural justice, and job satisfaction were in the hypothesized model, and drawn from previous literature review, four hypotheses were formulated in relation to the four variables. The analyses revealed that two dimensions of servant leadership (i.e., trust in leader and leader support) significantly influenced job satisfaction, and was partially mediated by procedural justice. There were also significant differences in the perceived leadership and job satisfaction between supervisors and nonsupervisors. In sum, the current findings offer practical implications for how public managers or executive officers can create a just and fair organizational culture for increasing job satisfaction. For instance, public agencies need to invest more resources in areas that enhance leadership for non-supervisors rather than supervisors, which enable the subordinates to have more trust in their leaders and feel more leader support. Subsequently, non-supervisors will perceive a higher level of procedural justice and be more satisfied with their jobs. Also, when rewards and incentives to employees in an organization are planned, the process setting the compensation should be transparent and fair, because it significantly influences employees’ job satisfaction level.

Keywords


Job satisfaction, leadership, multiple-sample SEM, procedural justice, U.S. National Park Service

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