Fairly Meaningful: Mechanisms Linking Organizational Fairness to Perceived Meaningfulness

Jialing Xiao, Wei Si, Leni Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This research develops and tests a multiple-mediator model of the relationship between organizational fairness and employees’ perceived meaningfulness. Integrating (Rosso et al., Research in Organizational Behavior 30:91–127, 2010) theoretical framework on meaningfulness with theories on fairness, we examined four parallel mechanisms linking organizational fairness to perceived meaningfulness: organization-based self-esteem (OBSE), authenticity at work, moral identification, and organizational identification. We tested our model with three time-lagged studies. All of the studies found significant mediating effects of OBSE and authenticity at work, whereas the results of moral identification and organizational identification were mixed. Studies 2 and 3 also found that the combined mediating effect of the self-oriented mechanisms (OBSE and authenticity at work) was significantly stronger than that of the other-oriented mechanisms (moral identification and organizational identification). These findings suggest organizational fairness as a key antecedent of perceived meaningfulness and the prominent role of the self in the relationship between fairness and meaningfulness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2022


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