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JEA
46,4 Fairness, teachers non-task
behavior and alumni satisfaction
The influence of group commitment
514
Pablo Zoghbi Manrique de Lara
University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,
Received February 2007
Revised June 2007 Canary Islands, Spain
Accepted February 2008
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between interactional justice, as a
type of organizational justice that reflects the teachers perceived fairness of supervisor treatment, and
their non-task behavior in terms of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and deviant workplace
behavior (DWB).
Design/methodology/approach Data were collected from 270 teachers (by e-mail) and 22,599
students (by personal distribution) at a Spanish public university. Structural Equation Modeling
(SEM) was used for testing mediation and multiple regression for analyzing the non-task and teaching
satisfaction association.
Findings Results show that justice is an antecedent of group commitment that fully mediates the
relationship between justice and non-task behavior except DWB-Colleagues. Results also reveal an
association between non-task behavior, except DWB-Organization and DWB-Colleagues, and teaching
satisfaction.
Research limitations/implications The researched teachers job conditions are inherent to the
peculiarities of the public sector that may limit the ability to extrapolate the findings in the private
sector. The findings provide a more understandable mechanism of the influence of the supervisors
justice on non-task behavior and, in turn, on teaching satisfaction.
Practical implications These findings contribute to a better understanding of the ways in which
universities can control non-task behavior and provide lines to design a more efficient department
management strategy. The emotional and fair proximity of the supervisor, eliciting the group teachers
sense of affective commitment, appears as an effective quality strategy for universities.
Originality/value The study of the joint interaction of justice and group commitment variables
against DWB and in favor of OCB, and its consequent effect on teaching quality, is unprecedented in
higher education.
Keywords Teachers, Job satisfaction, Employee behaviour, Universities, Spain
Paper type Research paper

The literature distinguishes two components of overall performance in the job: that
related to formal tasks task behaviors and that defined outside the job analysis
non-task behaviors. The correlated but separate (Kelloway et al., 1999) organizational
citizenship behavior (OCB) and deviant workplace behavior (DWB) are the non-task
behaviors most commonly studied in recent research (Dunlop and Lee, 2004). Organ
Journal of Educational (1988, 1997) defined OCB as the voluntary and discretionary behavior of individual
Administration organizational members that, taken as a whole, is expected to promote overall
Vol. 46 No. 4, 2008
pp. 514-538 organizational efficacy. In that respect, Rotundo and Sackett (2002, p. 66) define job
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
0957-8234
performance as those actions and behaviors that are under the control of the
DOI 10.1108/09578230810882036 individual and that contribute to the achievement of the organizations objectives. At
the other extreme, Robinson and Bennett (1995) define DWB as employee free-will Alumni
behavior that transgresses organizational norms and consequently puts the satisfaction
functioning of that institution (DWB-Organization), of its members
(DWB-Interpersonal), or of both, at risk.
OCB and DWB play an important role in determining overall organizational
performance (Bennett and Robinson, 2000; Filipczak, 1993; McGurn, 1988; Motowidlo
and Van Scotter, 1994; Verton, 2000). Examples of non-task behavior include 515
defending/harming the organization (OCB-Organization or DWB-Organization) and,
when directed at individuals, assisting/embarrassing co-workers in their duties
(OCB-Interpersonal/DWB-Interpersonal). In general, Kim et al. (2004) add support to
the possible statement that perceptions of organizational justice generate favorable
dispositions to a good quality client service. However, Borman and Motowidlo (1993)
focused on workers OCB (or contextual performance) as a key performance variable
that intermediates the above likely causal relationship. In the services and sales
industries, the mechanism through which non-task behavior may achieve
organizational effectiveness is also based on the expected association between OCB
and good customer service, both material and personal (Bell and Menguc, 2002;
Blancero et al., 1995; Kim et al., 2004; Morrison, 1996). However, research on schools
has shown little interest in non-task behavior as a component of school effectiveness
(e.g. Fullan, 1985) even though recent surveys suggest that the teachers OCB directed
at students (OCB-Students), colleagues (OCB-Colleagues), and the school as an
organization (OCB-Organization) may be essential to accomplish educational
objectives and thus benefit schools (Somech and Drach-Zahavy, 2000).
In higher education settings, Regoxs (2003) finds support for the relationship
between OCB and the performance of university teachers, and in turn the students
professional motivation and self-confidence. His findings suggest that university
teacher OCB may be associated with the quality of the teaching-learning process;
however, that association is unpublished to date. Similarly, the DWB literature has
paid little attention to workplace deviance among teachers especially as an indicator or
incentive of teaching satisfaction in higher education. In effect, although Heeren and
Shichor (1993) identify and discuss deviant behavior among university teachers, they
reach few conclusions, such as its antecedent of occupational pressure. Therefore, the
possible effects of DWB on the teaching satisfaction in higher education remain
unexplored.
Non-task behavior is, by definition, subject not to contractual obligations but to
employee free-will, thus depicting an extremely complex picture. Thus, in managing
OCB and DWB it seems essential to identify their antecedents, and so act on the basis
of a more accurate etiology. Prior research has found that an individuals positive
attitudes, such as job satisfaction, job involvement and organizational commitment,
precede several facets of OCB (Bateman and Organ, 1983; OReilly and Chatman, 1986;
Organ, 1990; Smith et al., 1983; Van Dyne et al., 1995; Williams and Anderson, 1991). In
school research, Somech and Drach-Zahavy (2000) found positive relationships
between job satisfaction and collective efficacy, and the teachers extra-role behavior at
all three levels of the school system.
Organizational injustice is undoubtedly the most frequently cited cause of non-task
behavior (e.g. DiBattista, 1989, 1996; Farth et al., 1990; Konovsky and Pugh, 1994;
Moorman, 1991; Moorman et al., 1993; Neuman and Baron, 1998; Robinson and
JEA Bennett, 1997; Skarlicki and Folger, 1997; Tucker, 1993) of both OCB (Masterson et al.,
46,4 2000; Moorman et al., 1998) and DWB (Greenberg, 1990; Greenberg and Scott, 1996;
Skarlicki and Folger, 1997). Furthermore, studies of organizational justice show that
judgments not only of perceived fairness of rewards and organizational procedures,
but also of more or less respectable and honest interpersonal treatment are related to
those individual behaviors (Greenberg, 1990; Lind and Tyler, 1988; Tyler and Bies,
516 1990). Herein we refer to the interactional justice (hereafter justice) displayed by the
supervisor (Bies and Moag, 1986).
However, the literature offers evidence that the direct association between the equity
theory and employee non-task behavior often provides relative deprivation models that
only support a partial explanation (e.g. Cropanzano and Byrne, 2000; Lipponen et al.,
2004; Masterson et al., 2000; Moorman, 1991; Moorman et al., 1993, 1998; Spector and
Fox, 2004; Shore and Shore, 1995; VanYperen et al., 2000). In that respect, Aquino et al.
(2004, p. 1002) affirm that . . . not everyone who is treated unjustly by his or her
supervisor [justice] at work responds by engaging in deviance . . ..
Based on the above, although it may be predicted that the link between justice and
non-task behavior may play a key role in the efficiency of university teaching, it should
be fitted into a more complex set of predictions. When that occurs, it will be able to
offer university managers a successful guide to manage their leadership policy in order
to achieve teacher non-task behavior and, in turn, teaching satisfaction. To that end, we
suggest that the teachers affective commitment to their group (hereafter group
commitment) may mediate that link (see Figure 1).
Regarding the above predictions, Kidwells study (1997) of group cohesiveness at a
multilevel (individual and group) analysis finds that cohesiveness is significantly
related to OCB and a positive moderator on the job satisfaction-OCB link. However, as
far as we are aware, the study of group commitment in higher education as a mediator
of the relationship between justice and non-task behavior, and in turn of the teaching
satisfaction (Figure 1), is unprecedented. The following section presents the theoretical
rationale for our predictions.

Theoretical background
Exchange theorists suggest that human interactions are characterized by social
economics, where people are concerned about the inputs they invest in relationships
and the outcomes they receive from those relationships (Blau, 1964). The need to
reciprocate for benefits received in order to continue receiving them serves as a
starting mechanism for social integration and group structure (Gouldner, 1960).

Figure 1.
Predicted model of group
commitment as a mediator
of the relationship
between interactional
justice and non-task
behavior, and its final
effects on the teaching
satisfaction
Tajfel (1978, p. 63) defines social identity as . . . that part of an individuals self-concept Alumni
which derives from his knowledge of his membership of a social group. In turn, social satisfaction
identity comprises a cognitive awareness of ones membership of a social group
self-categorization; an evaluative membership group self-esteem; and a sense of
emotional involvement with the group affective commitment. In a school study,
Christ et al. (2003) identified three teacher foci of identification: career identification,
team identification, and organizational identification. Based on the above, our aim is to 517
study teacher identification as affective commitment to their workgroup (hereafter
group commitment) since this component constitutes the main determinant of
individual-level responses (such as distancing oneself from the group) as opposed to
group-level responses (see, e.g. Allen and Meyer, 1990; Ellemers et al., 1997).

Interactional justice and group commitment


Justice is the most relevant justice perception for social exchange relationships
(Masterson et al., 2000; Murphy et al., 2003). When individuals feel that they are being
treated with honesty, respect, and openness they feel more loyal to their supervisors
and thus appear to be more prone to display cooperative behavior (Becker and Billings,
1993; Masterson et al., 2000). On that line, Murphy et al. (2003) find a significant
positive relationship between justice and team-member exchanges. Additionally, as
Tjosvold et al. (1992) found, the quality of the relationship between superior and
subordinate is a more important determinant of effective leadership than the leadership
style employed (also see Fiedlers (1978) contingency theory). Therefore, our first
hypothesis is:
H1. Teachers perceptions of justice from their organization will be positively
associated with their feeling of group commitment.
As noted earlier, finding support for H1 makes a limited contribution to the literature,
so we view it as a step towards more complex predictions. In the following section, we
theorize that group commitment also mediates the relationship between justice and
non-task behavior. Assuming that the mediating role is achieved, group commitment
would constitute a key variable for improving the teachers performance, and perhaps
teaching satisfaction.

Mediating role of group commitment


Irrespective of whether or not Christ et al. (2003) are justified in emphasizing the
importance of organizational identification as a determinant of OCB in schools, and
whether or not the teachers feeling of group commitment can lead them to engage in
OCB, the ability of justice to act as a direct antecedent of OCB and DWB is uncertain.
Therefore, as Baron and Kenny (1986, p. 1173) state in referring to a mediator, justice
seems be in need of a third variable, which represents the generative mechanism
through which the focal independent variable (justice) is able to influence the
dependent variable (non-task behavior). As seen above, we suggest that this third
variable may be group commitment.
Research in the social psychology literature predicts that favorable justice can
generate positive sentiments and emotions, such as loyalty to, and trust of, the
organization/supervisor or the organizations/supervisors support, that favor the
appearance of OCB (Skarlicki and Latham, 1996, 1997). On the other hand, unfavorable
JEA justice, also called interpersonal injustice (Greenberg, 1993) and disrespect (Tyler and
46,4 Blader, 2000), can provoke negative emotions, such as anger or resentment (Bies and
Tripp, 1998; Bies et al., 1997; Robinson and Bennett, 1997; Skarlicki and Folger, 1997)
that often trigger deviant behavior. At an emotional level, since group commitment is a
teachers un/pleasant emotional involvement in his/her group, and thus an un/pleasant
emotion, it could be argued that supervisor dis/respect may lead teachers to a
518 negative/positive group commitment. Using that argument as a guide, un/favorable
justice may affect non-task behavior because justice affects the extent to which the
teachers feel themselves socio-emotionally involved in their group. The suggestion
indicates that it is in this socio-emotional context where non-task behavior really
occurs.
Based on above, we predict that justice affects non-task behavior because justice
leads the teacher to a more intense group commitment, which in turn prompts him/her
to reciprocate with non-task behavior. In the following section, we theorize about the
target of non-task behavior in order to draw up our hypotheses.

Non-task behavior dimension target


Social exchange theory (Blau, 1964) provides a rationale for the relationship between
justice perceptions and the non-task behavior target by suggesting that individuals
reciprocate to the source of in/justice. In the same way, the norm of retaliation
(Gouldner, 1960) is based on the premise that, when individuals feel that they have
been treated unfairly, they attempt to even-the-score by engaging in retaliatory
behavior. Robinson and Bennett (1995, p. 567) suggest that organizational variables are
more likely to influence deviance directed at harming organizations and individual
variables are more likely to explain interpersonal forms of deviance. Since
un/favorable justice is enacting the organizational system, in a first step, we expect
teachers to target their DWB and OCB at the source of in/justice, namely the
organization. Thus, our next two hypotheses are:
H2a. Teachers group commitment will mediate the relationship between their
perceptions of justice and their OCB-Organization.
H3a. Teachers group commitment will mediate the relationship between their
perceptions of justice and their DWB-Organization.
Although the original target of non-task behavior may be the organizational system,
focusing on the supervisor as its visible face, a parallel relational target may emerge. In
this respect, Bandura (1993) found that teachers, as team members, believe that their
collective instructional work process contributes significantly to their schools level of
academic achievement. This suggests that teachers may perceive teamwork
procedures as an essential part of their work, and hence of their school as an
organization. Using that argument as a guide, Somech and Drach-Zahavy (2000) found
that perceptions of collective efficacy would be positively related to non-task behavior
towards not only the school as an organization, but also towards colleagues
(OCB-Colleagues). Hence, our next two hypotheses are:
H2b. Teachers group commitment will mediate the relationship between their
perceptions of justice and their OCB-Colleagues.
H3b. Teachers group commitment will mediate the relationship between their Alumni
perceptions of justice and their DWB-Colleagues. satisfaction
With regard to the non-task dimensions (OCB-Students and DWB-Students) with the
student as a target, Caruana et al. (2001) found a negative relationship between anomie
and the degree to which retail store employees perceived the wrongfulness of
customers fraudulent behaviors, suggesting that a customer target may be caused by
an anomic workplace. Additionally, despite the earlier noted exchange theorys 519
assertion that the individuals reciprocate to the source of their perceptions, research on
workplace deviance suggests that the targets of harm and the entities actually harmed
may diverge. Probably, this occurs through displacement to other individuals or
because, in an attempt to harm the school or colleagues, students are harmed as well
(Ambrose et al., 2002; OLearly-Kelly et al., 1996). Therefore, our following two
hypotheses are:
H2c. Teachers group commitment will mediate the relationship between their
perceptions of justice and their OCB-Students.
H3c. Teachers group commitment will mediate the relationship between their
perceptions of justice and their DWB-Students.

The influence of non-task behavior on the quality of university teaching


Empirical studies of the quality of university teaching have traditionally focused on
the role of the teacher in the teaching-learning process (Hansen and Jackson, 1996).
This aspect has been widely addressed in the field of pedagogy, where instruments to
measure that role have been developed. One of the pioneer works is that of Ramsden
and Entwistle (1981), in which a scale was developed to measure the educational
experience of students in British higher education institutions (faculties and
departments). Later, Ramsden (1991) added other relevant factors and proposed the
Course Experience Questionnaire to evaluate teaching actions.
According to the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM, 1995), the
product of teaching is the acquisition of knowledge or the value added to the
knowledge, skills and personal development of the learner. Alvarez and Rodrguez
(1997) consider that the product is the learning process of both the student and the
teacher. In this respect, total quality implies the need for not only the teacher, but also
for the student, to play an active part in the design, creation and continued
improvement of his/her own learning process (Owlia and Aspinwall, 1996). With
regard to the institutional activities that affect quality, Barnett (1992) considers that the
four activities common to all higher education institutions and which influence the
students learning are:
(1) the quality of the teaching method;
(2) the process of student assessment;
(3) the quality of the courses; and
(4) the teachers development program.

The relationship between teacher non-task behavior and the quality of university
teaching finds support since, as the organization behavior literature states, OCB
appears to intensify specific teacher actions that increase the quality of service
JEA provided to the client/student (Bell and Menguc, 2002; Blancero et al., 1995; Regoxs,
46,4 2003). In the case of DWB, Rotundo and Sackett (2002) also emphasize the qualities of
this negative behavior as a potential indicator or possible incentive that contributes to
the measure/achievement of organizational overall efficiency. Hui et al. (2001) find
signs of an association between OCB and service quality in branches of banking
institutions. Additionally, Castro et al. (2004) obtain similar indications about service
520 quality and client satisfaction, also in the banking sector, while Morrison (1996) does so
in Human Resources Management Consultancy services.
Therefore, the above reasoning/indications allow us to think that OCB and DWB
may be related to the quality of university teaching from a student learning perception.
Hence, our final hypotheses are:
H4a. Teachers OCBs are positively associated to their students perceived
satisfaction with the quality of their university teaching.
H4b. Teachers DWBs are negatively associated to their students perceived
satisfaction with the quality of their university teaching.

Method
Procedure and sample characteristics
Data were collected from 270 (17.4 percent) of the 1,547 teachers and 15,367 (68 percent)
of the 22,599 students at a Spanish public university, by e-mail in the first case and by
means of individually distributed questionnaires in the second. Concerning teachers,
the sample comprised 63.6 percent males and 35.4 percent females and, while 40
percent were 40-years-old or younger, only 4.2 percent were older than 60. Some 68
percent of the sample held tenured positions while the remainder did not. The
responses were received over a period ending on December 2, 2004. Eventually, there
were 270 valid responses after 12 were rejected due to incorrect completion or
incoherent information.
In the case of the students, the sample comprised 10,836 males (47.95 percent) and
11,763 females (52.05 percent). Only 2,647 were 30 or above (11.71 percent) while the
remainder were between 18 and 29 years old. Next, 61,298 student satisfaction
questionnaires were considered. They formed part of the annual teacher evaluation
program conducted by the Institutional Evaluation Office of the surveyed university
for the 2003/2004 academic year. Each assessment evaluates one teacher in one subject.
The number of students and the number of surveys indicate that each student
evaluated an average of 2.71 subjects and each teacher was evaluated by an average of
39.6 students. Considering the average student/subject and subject/students ratios, at
least 68 percent of students participated in the evaluations and more than 95 percent of
lecturers were evaluated in at least one subject.

Measures
Except in the case of teaching satisfaction (five-point), the items of this study were
scored on a seven-point scale ranging from (1) Strongly Disagree to (7) Strongly Agree.
Non-task behavior was scaled from (1) Never to (7) Constantly. These are presented in
Tables I and II. Reliability was established by Cronbachs alphas, which are shown on
the main diagonal of Table III.
Measure
Alumni
satisfaction
OCB-Organization
Y Perform functions that are not required but that help the
university image ( *)
Y11 Defend the university when other employees criticize it 0.64
Y12 Show pride when representing the university in public 0.53 521
Y13 Offer ideas to improve the functioning of the university 0.86
Y14 Express loyalty toward the university 0.86
Y15 Take action to protect the university from potential problems 0.83
Y16 Show concern for the image of the university 0.83
OCB-Colleagues
Y17 Help colleagues who have been absent 0.66
Y18 Willingly give your time to help colleagues who have
work-related problems
Y Adjust your schedule to accommodate colleagues requests for 0.70
time off ( *)
Y19 Go out of your way to make newer colleagues feel welcome in the 0.62
work group
Y20 Give up time to help colleagues who have work or non-work 0.77
problems
Y21 Assist colleagues with their duties 0.87
Y22 Share personal property with colleagues to help their work 0.73
OCB-Students
Y23 Help students with their problems 0.74
Y24 Help new students feel at home in the university 0.69
Y25 Do my best not to make students wait 0.75
Y26 Show a polite and sincere interest in students even when they are 0.74
complaining about something
DWB-Organization
Y27 Spend too much time fantasizing or daydreaming instead of 0.64
working
Y28 Come to work late without giving prior notice 0.53
Y29 Intentionally worked slower than I could have worked 0.86
Y30 Put little effort into my work 0.86
Y31 Taken an additional or longer break than is acceptable at my 0.83
workplace
DWB-Colleagues
Y32 Said something hurtful to some colleague at work 0.81
Y33 Publicly embarrassed colleagues at work 0.68
Y34 Made fun of colleagues at work 0.80
Y35 Acted rudely toward colleagues at work 0.69
DWB-Students
Y36 Gone too far in telling a student off 0.86
Y37 Treated a student badly 0.80
Y38 Gone too far in joking with a student 0.60
Notes: Cmin 347.575; df 183; p , 0.001; Cmin/df 1.899; CFI 0.94 NFI 0.89 GFI 0.89 Table I.
RMSEA 0.058 TLI 0.93 PGFI 0.704 PNFI 0.771 AGFI 0.859 Confirmatory factor
( *) Before proceeding to calculate fit indices those items were removed because its loading factor was analysis of non-task
fewer than 0.5 behavior variables
JEA
Quality by Quality by Quality by Quality by
46,4 department degree course center area
My teacher F1 F2 F1 F2 F1 F2 F3

1. Has a good command of the 0.593 0.665 0.517 0.640 0.540 0.759 0.992
subject content
522 2. Gives clear explanations
3. Uses appropriate resources
0.901
0.915
0.400
0.312
0.799
0.841
0.526
0.450
0.850
0.926
0.503
0.324
0.999
0.862
to explain the subject
4. Taking into account the 0.877 0.469 0.717 0.644 0.864 0.492 0.998
conditions in which this
subject is taught (number of
students, timetable, means,
etc.) i am satisfied with this
teachers work
5. Makes it easy to understand 0.916 0.368 0.831 0.508 0.905 0.409 0.992
the subject
6. Answers our questions with 0.855 0.483 0.609 0.691 0.844 0.506 10.000
precision
7. Has got me interested in the 0.940 0.186 0.922 0.268 0.923 0.294 0.971
subject
8. I would like to study another 0.917 0.329 0.886 0.158 0.916 0.362 0.989
subject with this teacher
9. Has teaching skills 0.832 0.514 0.751 0.611 0.813 0.546 0.993
10. From the start of the course, 0.350 0.912 0.396 0.816 0.503 0.830 0.988
students know the
assessment criteria for the
subject
11. Applies the assessment 0.536 0.828 0.575 0.754 0.657 0.732 0.997
criteria shown in the subject
program
12. The assessments coincide 0.707 0.626 0.660 0.610 0.737 0.555 0.990
with what is explained in
class
13. Is receptive to our questions 0.684 0.651 0.604 0.700 0.641 0.716 0.975
and suggestions
14. Respects us 0.419 0.818 0.286 0.858 0.360 0.894 0.954
15. The students are notified 0.562 0.762 0.450 0.749 0.576 0.682 0.964
when the teacher cannot give
a class
16. Is punctual 0.438 0.812 0.381 0.798 0.467 0.803 0.986
17. Presented the subject 0.220 0.903 0.428 0.761 0.398 0.837 0.960
program at the start of the
course
18. Regularly complies with the 0.468 0.850 0.561 0.775 0.579 0.788 0.990
tutorial timetable
19. Regularly attends the classes 0.196 0.906 0.136 0.905 0.193 0.942 0.977
20. Is a good teacher 0.819 0.547 0.708 0.669 0.818 0.561 1.00
Total Cronbachs Alpha 0.878 0.878 0.987 0.879
Table II. Total explained variance (%) 93.82 85.95 94.23 95.90
Exploratory factor
analysis of the four Notes: The items (not in italics) that obtained a difference of load below 0.2 between the two factors
variables of quality of were removed. F1= Technical Quality; F2= Functional Quality; F3= Overall Service Quality (no
university teaching breakdown through EFA was obtained)
Variables M SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1. Justice 4.34 1.74 (0.95)


2. Group commitment 5.35 1.44 0.44 * * * (0.91)
3. OCB-Organization 5.29 1.10 0.23 * * * 0.32 * * * (0.89)
4. OCB-Colleagues 5.62 0.95 0.13 * 0.29 * * * 0.38 * * * (0.86)
5. OCB-Students 6.14 0.83 0.01 0.08 0.35 * * * 0.53 * * * (0.80)
6. DWB-Organization 2.48 1.34 0.07 0.20 * * 0.14 * 0.13 * 0.17 * * (0.86)
7. DWB-Colleagues 2.55 1.35 0.09 0.04 0.13 * 0.13 * 0.23 * * * 0.50 * * * (0.80)
8. DWB-Students 1.92 1.20 0.04 0.13 * 0.14 * 0.19 * * 0.25 * * * 0.45 * * * 0.65 * * * (0.79)
Note: The numbers in parentheses on the diagonal are coefficient alphas.
n 270; * p ,0 .05; * * p ,0.01; * * * p , 0.001
satisfaction

deviations, correlations
and reliabilities
Means, standard
Alumni

Table III.
523
JEA Interactional justice. We used six items of the scale developed by Moorman (1991)
46,4 regarding the subordinates perceptions of how fairly their supervisor treated them.
Affective commitment to the work group. We measured group commitment by
selecting and modifying four items from the scale of Dobbins and Zaccaro (1986)
concerning group cohesiveness. The items that assessed the identification component
of cohesiveness at individual level were I feel happy to belong to my work group (Y7), I
524 want to remain as a member of my work group (Y8), when my group works as a team,
people work better (Y9), and I would make an effort to prevent my work group from
being discontinued (Y10).
Organizational citizenship behavior. We assessed OCB using fourteen items (seven
to each dimension) of the 16-item scale developed by Lee and Allen (2002), which they
in turn obtained from the many scales in the literature (see, e.g. Konovsky and Organ,
1996).
Deviant workplace behavior. The scale used was a reduced and adapted version of
that developed by Bennett and Robinson (2000). Some deviance referred to in Bennett
and Robinsons scale, i.e. ethnic, religious, or racial differences, or also about working
hours, did not apply to our university. Thus, the features peculiar to the teacher
collective and to the mentioned university led us to select nine of those items in an
attempt to obtain two dimensions (five DWB-Organization-related items, and four
DWB-Colleagues-related).
Quality of university teaching. The 20-item scale used by the Office of Institutional
Evaluation at the university under study included attributes similar to those proposed
by Casanueva et al. (1997) in assessing student satisfaction with the quality of the
teaching service offered (see Table II).
Since each of the control variables in the teacher survey includes the teachers
department, degree course, center and academic area, we opted to use those four ways
of measuring the quality of university teaching. In the database of the 270 responding
teachers, the average scores for each of the 20 items of all the teachers in their
department were included. The degree courses were handled in the same way: the
average score for each was obtained and each teacher in the database was assigned the
average evaluation (20 items) of the course in which he/she had greatest teaching load
during the 2003/2004 academic year. The procedures for the faculties and areas were
the same. Finally, an exploratory factor analysis was run for each of the four
established variables of quality. Table II shows the details of those analyses.
With the exception of the Academic Areas (Social Sciences, Humanities, etc.), which
loaded in a single factor (F3), the grouping of items in the case of the other three
variables followed a criterion of technical and functional quality in line with the quality
service literature. Effectively, the students evaluate not only the technical quality
received, but also the way in which they receive it (Gronroos, 1988):
.
formal aspects related with teaching (punctuality, attendance, compliance with
schedules and timetables, etc.); and
. aspects related to attitudes perceived in their teachers.

Results
Table III shows the scale means, standard deviations, reliabilities and correlations (r)
between all the research variables, except teaching satisfaction, which is shown in
Table IV with non-task behavior.
A direct path linking justice with
Sub-model non-task behavior? x2 df CFI GFI RMSEA PGFI PNFI AGFI

Justice-Group commitment-OCB-Organization Yes (B 0.122; p 0.084) 256.109 101 0.96 0.90 0.076 0.665 0.781 0.859
No ( *) 259.108 102 0.95 0.90 0.076 0.671 0.788 0.859
Justice-Group commitment-OCB-Colleagues Yes (B 0.006; p 0.933) 218.544 101 0.96 0.91 0.066 0.675 0.787 0.877
No ( *) 218.551 102 0.96 0.91 0.065 0.681 0.795 0.878
Justice-Group commitment-OCB-Students Yes (B 0.039; p 0.614) 159.166 74 0.97 0.92 0.065 0.648 0.770 0.886
No ( *) 159.418 75 0.97 0.92 0.065 0.657 0.780 0.887
Justice-Group commitment-DWB-Organization Yes (B 0.041; p 0.579) 172.562 87 0.97 0.92 0.060 0.668 0.785 0.891
No ( *) 172.869 88 0.97 0.92 0.060 0.675 0.794 0.892
Justice-Group commitment-DWB-Colleagues Yes (B 0.091; p 0.237) 147.315 74 0.98 0.93 0.061 0.654 0.773 0.898
No ( *) 148.712 75 0.98 0.93 0.060 0.663 0.783 0.899
Justice-Group commitment-DWB-Students Yes (B 0.029; p 0.686) 125.905 62 0.98 0.93 0.062 0.637 0.760 0.904
No ( *) 126.064 63 0.98 0.93 0.061 0.647 0.772 0.905
Notes: ( *) According to fit indices showed, those fully mediated sub-models show a better fit, above all in referring to RMSEA (root-mean-square error of
approximation) indices that are lower; and PGFI (parsimony goodness-of-fit index), PNFI (parsimony normed fit index), and AGFI (adjusted goodness of
fit index) parsimonious fit indices which are higher. CFI (comparative-fit-index) and GFI (goodness-of-fit index) remained constant
satisfaction

Chi-square and fit index

behaviors
of justice on non-task
sub-models of the effects
Alumni

and partially mediated


comparison of the fully
525

Table IV.
JEA To test the relationships among the variables in our study we used structural equation
46,4 modeling. Figure 2 is a path diagram that shows the stated relationships among the
observed variables (survey answers, in rectangles) and the unobserved latent variables
(circles). The items displayed in Table I define the OCB/DWB variables of the model
observed through the survey questions and their response options.
We test the whole model through six partial structural equation sub-models where
526 the justice-group commitment relationship is analyzed in each of the six non-task
behaviors separately (see Table IV). That procedure means that in no structural
equation model do those construct/dimensions appear simultaneously, which prevents
us from confirming that OCB-Organization/Colleagues and OCB-Students, and
DWB-Organization/Colleagues and Students measure different behaviors.
Accordingly, we first conduct a confirmatory factor analysis, which is shown in
Table I. In that confirmatory factor analysis, we can see that two items with a factor
loading of below 0.5 were removed. In addition, although the chi-square is significant
(x2 [183, 270] 347.575; p , 0.001), the goodness-of-fit index is 0.89; the
comparative-fit-index is 0.94; the normed-fit-index is 0.89; the root-mean-square error
of approximation is 0.058; the parsimony goodness-of-fit index is 0.70; the parsimony
normed fit index is 0.771; and the adjusted goodness of fit index is 0.859. Therefore, the
confirmatory factor model is satisfactory although we acknowledge that the goodness
of fit index is on the margins of acceptability. Consequently, OCBs and DWBs measure
separate non-task behaviors.
Next, we conduct a nested models comparison using the sequential chi-square
difference test in each of the six sub-models (see Table IV). In line with Anderson and
Gerbings (1988) recommendations, each sub-model of the entire hypothesized model is
compared with the saturated alternative that contains a direct path from justice to its
corresponding OCB/DWB dimension and indirect paths through group commitment.
These latter sub-models represent the partially mediated models of the effects of justice
on non-task behavior. Regarding DWB-Colleagues, the various indexes used to test the
fit of its saturated sub-model (x2 [75, 270] 148.712) would show it to be acceptable if it
were not for the path from group commitment to DWB-Colleagues (B 0.03; p n.s) not
displaying significance (see Figure 2). In effect, the chi-square is significant ( p , 0.001),
but the fully mediated DWB-Colleagues sub-model displays a better fit than the partially
mediated one and, furthermore, the direct path from justice to DWB-Colleagues
(B 0.091; p n.s.) is not significant (Table IV). As mentioned above, these issues seem
to support a principle of group commitment mediation; however, we cannot accept H3b
since group commitment and DWB-Colleagues do not display an association.
The other five fully mediated sub-models, where there is no direct path from justice
with non-task behavior, also display better fit than the partially mediated ones, when its
direct paths are not significant (Table IV). Unlike the above case of DWB-Colleagues, the
effects of group commitment on OCB-Organization/Colleagues and DWB-Students and
DWB-Organization and DWB-Students do display significance (Figure 2). Hence, the
association between justice and non-task behavior is better explained as a fully mediated
model (more constrained hypothesized model) than as a partially mediated relationship
(saturated model) through group commitment. As we can see, all the above results
support H2a, H2b, H2c, H3a and H3c.
The indirect effects of justice on OCB-Organization (0.136), OCB-Colleagues (0.117),
OCB-Students (0.05), DWB-Organization ( 0.098) and DWB-Students ( 0.053) are also
Alumni
satisfaction

527

Figure 2.
Accepted composite model
grouping all sub-models of
interactional justice,
employee affective
commitment to the group
and non-task behavior
JEA consistent with above the thesis; namely, justice decreases DWB-Organization/
46,4 Students and increases OCB-Organization/Colleagues/Students through group
commitment. Finally, support for H1 is shown (Figure 2) by the significant path
between justice and group commitment (B 0.46; p , 0.001).
In order to test H4a and H4b, which propose that non-task behavior influences the
quality of university teaching, we used stepwise forward multiple linear regressions
528 (Table V). This technique inserts the variables with significance one by one into the
models and eliminates those that lose that significance in each step. The final models
contained only the significant variables.
The data given in Table VI establish solid and significant models, especially in the
case of technical quality. Centers are seen to be the poorest unit associated with
teaching satisfaction, probably because of their great heterogeneity. In effect, within
each center there is a broad mosaic of teachers, many of whom rotate from one year to
another. However, departments, degree courses and areas have a more stable staff over
time that probably gives them a more homogeneous idiosyncrasy and organizational
identity. That homogeneity appears to be reflected in the stronger relationship of
non-task behavior in departments, degree courses and areas, to the quality of
university teaching. These results support H4a and H4b.

Discussion
The aim of this research was to test the effectiveness of using group commitment in
further explaining the way through which the teachers favorable justice perceptions
engage non-task behavior. We analyzed whether justice affects group commitment and
whether that group commitment in turn prompts reciprocation/retaliation in the form
of OCB-Organization/Colleagues/Students or/and DWB-Organization/Colleagues/
Students. The results, presented in Figure 3, offer support for an association
between justice and group commitment (B 0.46; p , 0.001) and between group
commitment and OCB-Organization (B 0.36; p , 0.001), OCB-Colleagues (B 0.26;
p , 0.001), OCB-Students (B 0.11; p , 0.1), DWB-Organization (B 0.20;
p , 0.001), and DWB-Students (B 0.13; p , 0.05) but not with DWB-Colleagues
(B 0.03; p n.s.). Additionally, when group commitment mediates, the results show
stronger support for a fully mediated model of the effects of justice on non-task
behavior. In effect, the fit of the accepted sub-models is better than the saturated ones,
in which the direct paths between justice-OCB-Organization/Colleagues/Students and
justice-DWB-Organization/Colleagues/Students do not show significance.
According to student perceptions, OCB-Students and DWB-Students are strongly
associated with the two factors of teaching quality, as obtained in the exploratory
factor analysis. However, that relationship is more intense with technical than
functional quality in departments, in the case of DWBI, and in the degree course, in the
case of OCB-Students (see Figure 3). Surprisingly, compared with technical quality,
functional quality frequently refers to attitudinal attributes perceived in the service
provided by the teacher (for example, Item 14 in Table II), i.e. as a personal rather than
a material service. However, the association was greater with the former. This
apparent diversion from personal to material teaching service further increases the
ability of non-task behavior to influence the perceived teaching satisfaction service. In
effect, by receiving a more personal positive non-task treatment, the students have a
leaning toward a more favorable perception of the technical aspects of the teaching,
M SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

1. OCB-Organization 5.44 1.08 (0.89)


2. OCB-Colleagues 5.74 0.92 0.42 **** (0.86)
3. OCB-Students 6.15 0.82 0.33 **** 0.51 **** (0.80)
4. DWB-Organization 2.48 1.34 0.09 0.11 * 0.09 (0.86)
5. DWB-Colleagues 2.78 1.48 0.04 0.08 0.12 * 0.51 **** (0.80)
6. DWB-Students 1.89 1.16 0.01 0.16 ** 0.23 **** 0.46 **** 0.57 **** (0.79)
7. TECH (Department) 3.52 0.82 0.09 0.03 0.10 * 0.05 0.04 0.21 **** (0.99)
8. FUNC (Department) 3.96 0.78 0.05 0.07 0.07 0.04 0.06 0.09 0.76 **** (0.98)
9. TECH (Center) 3.48 0.82 0.01 0.01 0.08 0.08 0.05 0.05 0.69 **** 0.63 *** (0.99)
10. FUNC (Center) 4.02 0.78 0.05 0.01 0.11 * 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.56 **** 0.73 **** 0.82 **** (0.97)
11. TECH (Degree Course) 3.42 0.82 0.06 0.04 0.23 **** 0.03 0.04 0.08 0.66 **** 0.59 *** 0.82 **** 0.70 **** (0.96)
12. FUNC (Degree Course) 4.00 0.78 0.07 0.01 0.02 0.08 0.02 0.13 ** 0.49 **** 0.68 **** 0.68 **** 0.84 *** 0.75 **** (0.96)
13. OVR (Academic area) 3.77 0.80 0.01 0.15 ** 0.13 ** 0.00 0.04 0.16 *** 0.42 **** 0.67 **** 0.55 **** 0.61 **** 0.47 **** 0.48 **** (0.88)

Notes: The numbers in parentheses on the diagonal are coefficient alphas. TECH Technical Quality of University Teaching; FUNC Functional Quality of University Teaching; OVR Overall
Quality of University Teaching; (DP) Department; (C) Center; (DG) Degree Course; (A) Academic Area; n 270. *p , 0.1; ** p , 0.05; *** p , 0.01; **** p , 0.001

teaching satisfaction
satisfaction

deviations, correlations
Means, standard

non-task behavior and

variables
and reliabilities of
Table V.
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529
46,4
JEA

530

Table VI.

satisfaction
regressions between
non-task behavior and
Stepwise forward linear

the variables of teaching


y Departments Centers or faculties Degree courses Areas
Technical Functional Technical Functional Technical Functional Overall
Non-task behavior: quality quality quality quality quality quality quality

OCB-Organization 0.10 * (2)


OCB-Colleagues 0.13 * (2)
CB-Students 0.11 * (1) 0.23 * * * (1) 0.10 * (3)
DWB-Organization
DWB-Colleagues
DWB-Students 0.21 * * * (1) 0.11 * (1) 0.14 * (1) 0.13 * (1)
Adjusted R-squared (AR 2) 0.04 0.01 0.01 0.05 0.01 0.01
F 6.43 * * 2.77 * 2.91 * 12.67 * * * 4.29 * 2.77 *
Notes: n 270. * p , 0.1; * p , 0.05; * * p , 0.01; * * * p , 0.001; the ordinal steps in which the variables were inserted into the model are shown in
parentheses
Alumni
satisfaction

531

Figure 3.
Final a posteriori model
of the predictions
supported in our study

both in OCB-Students and in DWB-Students. Although both technical and functional


facets are equally important, we cannot reject the claim that sometimes a smile could
replace very expensive technical issues.
In our opinion, the principal problem we meet in integrating our findings in the
current research literature lies in the numerous existing constructs close to those that
we used, which might lead readers to question the appropriateness of comparisons
among them. For example, since group commitment has been widely studied at group
level analysis as group cohesiveness, the inclusion of our findings at an individual
level in the cited research could be debatable. At the same time, the literature frames
deviant workplace behavior as one type of a more expansive antisocial behavior
construct (see Robinson and OLeary-Kelly, 1998) in which we can include aggressive
work behavior, Vardi and Wieners (1996) organizational misbehavior, and others.
Based on that reasoning, and in order to conduct theoretical implications, it may be
questionable, for example, whether social loafing could be a suitable analogue for the
relational or organizational deviance studied. We could also say the same with regard
to OCB as pro-social behavior (see McNeely and Meglino, 1994).
Taking the above warnings into account, this study at the individual level analysis
offers several organizational and behavioral implications that could boost
organizational behavior research and management practice in higher education.
Kidwells study (1997) of group cohesiveness, at group multilevel analysis, finds a
significant relationship with OCB and positive moderating effects on the link job
JEA satisfaction-OCB. Our findings seem consistent with that but introduce subtle
46,4 distinctions in the antecedence of that link, focusing on the role that supervisor fairness
should play in that job satisfaction. In both, work groups are confirmed as key
catalysts that channel the efforts of the employer to provide adequate antecedents
(justice, job satisfaction, job conditions, etc.) of productive behaviors.
In effect, based on the fairness of the supervisor, our findings indicate the
532 behavioral/quality consequences of the teachers interpersonal exchanges in their
workplace. In addition, the department supervisors can influence their teachers
emotional commitment, and are free to try to do so according to their chosen level of
fairness transmitted through their leadership. We should probably mention the
department heads as the appropriate formal reference to place our findings in the
university surveyed. The department heads embody direct supervision throughout the
surveyed university. Thus, their exercise of leadership, even when unpremeditated,
plays a key role in individual teacher performance and, taken as a whole, in the
contextual teaching satisfaction in the institution.
However, knowledge about how non-task behavior is generated in our study seems
crucial to guide university managers and administrators, as we revealed at the
beginning of the paper. In that respect, while the literature includes the benefits of
other facets of justice in higher education, our study focuses on and supports only
justice. If the generation of positive non-task behaviors appears as the central target in
our study, we must not to forget the uselessness of including them in a policy of justice
when the mediating role of group commitment is not considered. Therefore, it is
necessary for justice to focus all its potential on creating an affective commitment
among the teachers in each department of the university. To that end, it seems
necessary to practice justice via a closer relational leadership, and thus insufficient that
the fairness of the department boss acts only by means of standoffish official
statements. Certainly, in our opinion, the need to create an affective committed
environment in departments implies the creation of fair/relational ties between
supervisors and teachers. It is probably in that direction where supervisor justice may
really contribute to the overall university efficacy.
Consequently, the necessary figure of a fair leader in groups demands a more
human quality profile than other classic bad-tempered manners that, long ago, were
synonymous with efficacy. In this extreme, to lead with emotion seems in fact to be
more efficacious. Therefore, it seems necessary to emphasize appropriate leadership
styles that, in turn, could require a redefinition of leader selection processes or a
training-development plan designed according to appropriate leadership attitudes: in
short, an appropriate list of management issues that allows university managers a
better control of non-task behavior through teacher work groups.
Another interesting managerial implication might concern the university managers
faced with departments where teachers are already feeling affective detachment, or
where they are in conflict with their groups. Accordingly, that situation would be
discouraging desired non-task behavior and putting the teaching satisfaction at risk.
The conflict management literature suggests that these issues can be resolved by
addressing the parties underlying interests, which are related to the parties motives
for desiring justice justice in our study (Fisher et al., 1991; Ury et al., 1993). The
mentioned literature suggests the relational motive as one of the three major ones
behind individual concern for justice (Cropanzano et al., 2001). This relational motive
may cause teachers to care about justice because fair treatment speaks of their status Alumni
as members of the group (Lind and Tyler, 1988). Therefore, it would be advisable to satisfaction
invoke a relational remedy perhaps even an apology as one of the most emotional
initiatives as a way to regenerate the affective wellbeing of the teachers workplace.
In short, we find support for the mediating role of group commitment, in the justice
non-task behavior relationship. This suggests that the intra-group relationships may be
the most salient in predicting those behaviors that benefit the universities and in turn 533
may elicit quality teaching. Future research can examine other predictors of non-task
behavior such as those based on justice theory (e.g. procedural justice), on exchange
theory, and on the affective bonding perspective. In addition, group level analysis could
be an interesting prerogative to complement our findings into higher education research.

Limitations of the study


Finally, we acknowledge that our research has certain limitations. First, the institution
researched is a recently created university, with a younger workforce, and fewer career
civil servants than other, more consolidated, universities in Spain and abroad. That
circumstance may limit the ability to extrapolate the conclusions of this research. Second,
the researched teachers have certain job conditions that are often inherent to the
peculiarities of workers in the public sector and universities. For example, the higher
bureaucracy in the public university context than in the private sector could also present
a different picture of the way groups and bosses act. Probably, the teachers immediate
bosses receive fewer/different opportunities to lead them. Consequently, the performance
of the constructs used in our study as well as its implications could vary.
Furthermore, although additional alternative models have been examined in order
to avoid the possibility that our results are affected by common methods bias, our
measures are self-reporting. Future studies should collect reports from multiple
sources; however, we are aware that, in practice, such attempts would meet obstacles in
their implementation in the field.

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Further reading
Aquino, K., Lewis, M.U. and Bradfield, M. (1999), Justice constructs, negative affectivity, and
employee deviance: a proposed model and empirical test, Journal of Organization
Behavior, Vol. 20 No. 7, pp. 1073-91.

Corresponding author
Pablo Zoghbi Manrique de Lara can be contacted at: pzoghbi@dede.ulpgc.es

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