In an attempt to make South Africa a more just society after the first democratic elections
on 27 April 1994, the South African society had to undergo a number of radical changes
which impacted the social, economical, political and educational arena. These changes
have influenced recruitment, retention and turnover. Changes at leadership levels in the
private and public sphere coupled with a huge exodus of highly skilled professionals are
evident as topics of equality and social justice appear at the top of company agendas.
Many proponents have conducted research on organisational justice and the fact that
more than twenty five thousand articles have been published on job satisfaction attest to
the importance of these two variables on organisational performance. In an article
examining past, present and future states of organisational justice it is argued that
organisational justice has the potential to explain many organisational behavioural
outcome variables. An investigation of the relationship between organisational justice
perceptions and work behavior found job satisfaction to be made up of a large fairness
component. The rationale behind the support for the study is the argument that employees who perceive that they have been fairly treated is likely to hold positive attitudes about their work, their work outcomes and their managers. If South African organisations wish to remain competitive then organisations need to understand how perceptions of justice influence attitudes and behaviour and consequently affect the success of the organisation.
Agricultural Colleges, a division of the Department of Agriculture are no exception. The
Agricultural Colleges' primary aim is to provide training to its prospective communities,
and is continuously being evaluated in terms of how well its academic employees achieve
its vision, mission and goals. It is evident from responses to job advertisements, low
morale and high turnover that most of the academic employees in Agricultural Colleges
are dissatisfied with their jobs, pay, management and the institutions based on their
current salary. Attracting, recruiting and retraining highly skilled, internationally
marketable and mobile employees are critical factors in determining the present and
future success in agricultural training in South Africa.
Limited research to examine the effects of organisational justice on organisational
outcomes in an environment where the workforce consists of academics is the gap this
research attempts to fill. This study is designed to assess the impact of organisational
justice on job satisfaction of academic employees in agricultural colleges in South Africa.
Also, to determine whether biographical values influence the relationship between
organisational justice and job satisfaction.
Seventy (70) respondents completed a biographical questionnaire as well as a Job
Satisfaction Survey to identify their levels of job satisfaction. To ascertain the levels of
organisational justice perceptions, respondents were asked to complete the Niehoff and
Moorman (1993) Organisational Justice Questionnaire. Correlation analysis revealed
there is a statistically significant positive relationship between job satisfaction and
organisational justice perceptions. This would seem to imply that if organisational justice
perceptions were to change, then job satisfaction would change accordingly.
Findingsalso indicate that there is a significant difference in organisational justice perceptions and job satisfaction depending on their level of employment, with lower level employees being more negative with respect to both variables. The results of this study also indicate that the demographic variables of age and gender appear to be better predictors of job satisfaction and organisational justice perceptions for the younger group of employees compared with their older counterparts. While the results of the current study reveal interesting findings, the results need to be interpreted with caution due to the nature and size of the sample which impact on the generalisability of the findings.
Job Satisfaction, Organisational Justice, Distributive Justice, Procedural Justice,
Interactional Justice, Fairness Perceptions, Equity Theory, Social Justice, Job
Performance, Organisational Performance, Academic employees, Agricultural Colleges