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Organizational Culture, Justice, Dehumanization and Affective Commitment in French Employees: A Serial Mediation Model


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The instrumentality of employees can be considered a common feature of the modern workplace. To investigate the influence of this instrumentalizing culture on organizational performance on the individual level, we tested whether perceived clan values (according to the Competing Values Framework) could explain affective commitment directly and indirectly through perceptions of organizational justice and organizational dehumanization in employees. Using the PROCESS macro, we tested a corresponding serial mediation model in a convenience sample of 306 French employees. Although employees who perceived a lack of clan values were less committed, the observed indirect effect was greater. Our findings highlight the role of perceived organizational culture in influencing affective commitment and how perceived justice and dehumanization may explain part of this relationship. This research also contradicts widespread beliefs stating dehumanizing strategies are universally beneficial in terms of organizational efficiency. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
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Research Reports
Organizational Culture, Justice, Dehumanization and Affective Commitment
in French Employees: A Serial Mediation Model
Jean-Félix Hamel1, Fabrizio Scrima1, Lucie Massot2, Benoît Montalan1
[1]Centre de Recherche sur les Fonctionnements et les Dysfonctionnements Psychologiques (CRFDP, UR7475), University of Rouen Normandy, Rouen, France.
[2]University of Paris 8 (IED), Paris, France.
Europe's Journal of Psychology, 2023, Vol. 19(3), 285–298,
Received: 2022-01-27 •Accepted: 2023-03-24 •Published (VoR): 2023-08-31
Handling Editor: Austin Lee Nichols, Central European University, Vienna, Austria
Corresponding Author: Benoît Montalan, Université de Rouen Normandie, Rue Thomas Becket, 76130 Mont-Saint-Aignan, France. E-mail:
The instrumentality of employees can be considered a common feature of the modern workplace. To investigate the inluence of this
instrumentalizing culture on organizational performance on the individual level, we tested whether perceived clan values (according
to the Competing Values Framework) could explain affective commitment directly and indirectly through perceptions of
organizational justice and organizational dehumanization in employees. Using the PROCESS macro, we tested a corresponding serial
mediation model in a convenience sample of 306 French employees. Although employees who perceived a lack of clan values were
less committed, the observed indirect effect was greater. Our indings highlight the role of perceived organizational culture in
inluencing affective commitment and how perceived justice and dehumanization may explain part of this relationship. This research
also contradicts widespread beliefs stating dehumanizing strategies are universally beneicial in terms of organizational eficiency.
Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
commitment, organizational dehumanization, organizational culture, organizational justice, serial mediation
The relationship between organizational culture and various effectiveness criteria has long been a focus of this ield of
research (Sackman, 2011; Schneider et al., 2013; Wilderom et al., 2000). A meta-analysis by Hartnell et al. (2011) used
the Competing Values Framework (CVF) (Cameron & uinn, 2011) to establish and clarify the culture-performance
relationship. The meta-analysis conirmed different types of culture related differently to effectiveness criteria and
revealed the dimensions of this widely-used framework (Cameron et al., 2006) provide a better account of overall
organizational effectiveness when combined. This inding reinforced the need for organizations to take an interest in
their overall cultural configuration and its underlying stakes such as occupational health outcomes (Dextras-Gauthier et
al., 2012), which explains why it remains the topic of much discussion today (e.g., Kim & Chang, 2019).
Concurrently, the global socioeconomic context promotes a “growing tendency for organizations and leaders to
see humans as ‘means’ rather than ‘ends in themselves’”, in stark contradiction with the Kantian moral imperative
(Rochford et al., 2017, p. 763). In line with this trend, multiple authors theorized such instrumentalizing practices to
have become an ordinary occurrence in the workplace due to widely shared beliefs about their necessity (e.g., Christoff,
2014) or the legitimizing role of neoliberal ideology (Bal & Dóci, 2018). Despite the instrumentalized representation
of employees seemingly becoming a ixture of the modern world of work, its inluence on employees and their
effectiveness in relation to organizational variables remains relatively unknown.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution 4.0 International License, CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use,
distribution, and reproduction, provided the original work is properly cited.
Using the Competing Values Framework (Cameron & uinn, 2011), the present study aims at investigating whether
the extent to which employees perceive their organization to convey humanizing cultural elements (i.e., values) may af
fect a relevant effectiveness criterion such as affective commitment (Meyer et al., 1989). Our second objective is to test a
possible psychological mechanism that could explain, in part, the relationship between perceived organizational culture
and affective commitment – i.e., whether it could be mediated by variables such as the perception of organizational
justice and the perception of organizational dehumanization. Thus, we hypothesized as to the relationship between all
mobilized variables before investigating the corresponding serial mediation model.
Theoretical Framework
The Relationship Between Clan Culture and Affective Commitment
The Competing Values Framework frames organizational culture by combining two theoretical axes: focus (internal vs.
external) and structure (lexibility vs. stability). Crossing them yields four different culture-types (i.e., clan, hierarchy,
adhocracy, market) with corresponding—and conceptually exclusive—values, foci and desired outcomes for organizations
(Cameron & uinn, 2011). In order to provide empirical evidence that dehumanizing cultural practices may inluence
organizational effectiveness through individual perceptions, we focused our efforts on the clan culture (internal and
flexible). Clan culture translates an inherent investment in the inner organizational environment and its members
(e.g., employees) as well as a belief that “the organization’s trust in and commitment to employees facilitates open
communication and employee involvement” (Hartnell et al., 2011, p. 679). In line with the Kantian moral imperative,
authors have suggested that the most harmful aspect of instrumentalizing employees may not be considering them as
disposable assets, but the act of only considering them so (Rochford et al., 2017; Väyrynen & Laari-Salmela, 2018). The
core values of clan culture (i.e., human afiliation, attachment) being theoretically antithetical to that of an objectifying
psychosocial environment and its main effectiveness criteria including commitment (Hartnell et al., 2011; Schneider et
al., 2013), it seemed best suited for our purposes.
The values conveyed by typically clannish organizations gravitate toward positive human interactions (e.g., respect,
attachment, support, collaboration) (Schneider et al., 2013). The associated effectiveness criteria of such motivations and
means include employee satisfaction and organizational commitment—a “psychological state that binds the individual to
the organization” (Allen & Meyer, 1990, p. 14). As it describes employees’ emotional attachment to their organization, as
well as the extent to which they identify with its values, affective commitment should theoretically be closely related to
perceived clan culture (Krajcsák, 2018). In fact, Abbott et al. (2005) showed that employees who work in organizations
that adopt prosocial values such as humanity are more affectively engaged. In their meta-analysis, Hartnell et al. (2011)
identiied a strong association between clan culture and affective commitment. Using the same framework, past research
suggests employees perceiving their organization to have motivations, means and ends dedicated to their welfare may
have a stronger affective bond to it (e.g., Kim, 2014).
H1: Perceived clan culture is positively associated with affective commitment.
Organizational Justice as Mediator
Organizational justice can be considered the integration of multiple research currents each concerned with different
aspects of the perception of fairness in the workplace (Greenberg & Colquitt, 2005): distributive justice (Adams, 1963;
Homans, 1961), procedural justice (Thibaut & Walker, 1975) and interactional justice (Greenberg, 1993). Values such as
trust, tolerance and communication being prominent features of the clan culture, we propose employees that attribute
these core values to their organization should perceive procedures, decisions and interactions within the organization as
fair—i.e., report higher levels of organizational justice perceptions.
The inluence of culture on justice systems and perceptions has mostly been studied on higher levels (e.g., national,
organizational) (James, 2015). Nonetheless, multiple studies successfully explored this relationship on the individual
level by investigating the inluence of values systems on a variety of employee attitudes including fairness (e.g., Di
Stefano et al., 2019; Rita Silva & Caetano, 2014; Schminke et al., 2015; Zhou et al., 2019). In line with these indings,
we propose employees may understand un/fairness in their organization through the values they attribute to it (and
the motivations and objectives so implied). Simply speaking, it may be easier for an employee to judge interactions in
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the workplace as un/fair regarding the set of values conveyed by the organization than to interpret these interactions
as relections of organizational goals. For instance, a supervisor being impolite might be attributed to the supervisor’s
personality, and does not readily it in with traditional organizational motives; on the other hand, considering the
organization to have little regard for the respect of individuals gives actionable insight into the relative un/fairness of
the interaction.
Furthermore, past research theorized supporting employees, communicating with them and ensuring fair processes
should lead to high levels of commitment (e.g., Meyer et al., 2002)—a claim substantiated by recent work linking
justice perceptions with increased commitment (Jang et al., 2021). Finally, a study by St-Pierre and Holmes (2010)
suggested managers were responsible for “implementing and maintaining a culture of trust and justice” (p. 1174), giving
organizational justice a mediating role between culture and outcomes such as workplace aggression. We suggest a
similar phenomenon could be observed between clan culture and affective commitment: for employees, perceiving
their organization to care about them may strengthen their emotional bond directly, but also indirectly via repeated
experiences of fair treatment.
H2: Perceived clan culture is positively associated with perceived organizational justice (2a), which
is positively associated with affective commitment (2b).
H3: Perceived organizational justice partially mediates the relationship between perceived clan
culture and affective commitment.
Organizational Dehumanization as Mediator
Numerous currents of research inside and outside of work and organizational psychology (WOP) have taken an interest
in the dehumanizing effects of the modern workplace. For instance, dehumanization is a cornerstone of both Marx’s
critique of the inherently alienating capitalistic system and Weber’s writings on the impeding bureaucratization of
work (see Bell & Khoury, 2011). Related works in recent WOP literature mainly stem from the social psychology of
dehumanization (Haslam, 2006) and objectiication (Gruenfeld et al., 2008). However, too few of these studies have
examined this phenomenon from the perspective of targets (Baldissarri & Andrighetto, 2021; Haslam & Loughnan, 2014),
and even less so from that of employees (or in the context of work at large). This shortcoming in the literature has
notably been addressed by contextualizing metadehumanization—which describes the subjective experience of feeling
dehumanized by others (Kteily et al., 2016)—to the work domain.
Thus, exploring instrumentalization from the perspective of employees and recognizing that it may also emanate
from the organization itself (see Väyrynen & Laari-Salmela, 2018), Bell and Khoury (2011) deined organizational
dehumanization as “the experience of an employee who feels objectiied by his or her organization, denied personal sub
jectivity, and made to feel like a tool or instrument for the organization’s ends” (p. 170). In other words, organizational
dehumanization represents the extent to which employees feel their organization dehumanizes and objectiies them for
its own beneit. As such, it examines the role of higher-level phenomena than objectifying interpersonal interactions,
such as reifying human resources management practices (see Shields & Grant, 2010, cited by Baldissarri & Andrighetto,
2021, p. 86). A burgeoning literature has since identiied organizational dehumanization as a frequent mediator between
critical constructs of WOP research such as organizational justice and turnover intentions (Bell & Khoury, 2016) or
abusive supervision and affective commitment (Caesens et al., 2019).
Recent work suggests organizational dehumanization perceptions may arise when individuals feel hindered in
meeting their psychological needs (i.e., competence, autonomy and control) (Demoulin et al., 2021). Thus, organizational
dehumanization also speaks to the representation employees have formed of their employer-employee relationship
insofar as it contributes to their needs not being met. In this study, we propose this representation may be informed by
cultural elements such as the perceived organizational values underpinning the observable behaviors conveying an in
strumentalized representation of employees. While dehumanizing strategies may be common in modern organizational
settings (Christoff, 2014), organizations which exhibit clan values tend to establish conditions aiding employees in main
taining feelings of competence, self-esteem and support (Dextras-Gauthier et al., 2012; Hartnell et al., 2011). If conditions
help employees fulill this psychological need, there is reason to think it might prevent organizational dehumanization
from emerging in the irst place (Demoulin et al., 2021). Simply speaking, employees perceiving their organization to
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foster a culture which considers their psychological needs should not feel considered as mere instruments devoted to its
ends. Finally, given both the already established negative relationship between organizational justice and organizational
dehumanization (e.g., Bell & Khoury, 2016) and the one hypothesized above (H2a), we expect organizational justice to
play the role of mediator between perceived clan culture and organizational dehumanization—i.e., clan culture may
inluence organizational dehumanization directly but also indirectly by inluencing un/fairness perceptions.
H4: Perceived clan culture is negatively associated with feelings of organizational dehumanization
(4a). Perceived organizational justice partially mediates the relationship between perceived clan
culture and organizational dehumanization (4b).
In their seminal work, Bell and Khoury (2011) suggested feelings of organizational dehumanization would diminish
employees’ attachment and encourage them to dissociate from their organization both physically and emotionally. This
would notably translate into a decrease in organizational commitment, which other work has since supported (e.g.,
Caesens et al., 2019; Stinglhamber et al., 2021). The mediating role of organizational dehumanization in the relationship
between organizational justice and turnover intentions has also been reported (Bell & Khoury, 2016). We propose
the same can be said of the justice-commitment relationship: un/fair interactions in the workplace might affect the
psychological bond between and employee and their organization directly, but also indirectly by fostering a detrimental
representation of the employer-employee relationship in the latter’s eyes. The sum of all our hypotheses amounts to a
serial mediation model represented in Figure 1 (mediation hypotheses are in bold).
H5: Organizational dehumanization partially mediates the relationship between perceived organi
zational justice and affective commitment (5a) as well as perceived clan culture and affective
commitment (5b).
Figure 1
Hypothesized Serial Mediation Model
Sample and Procedure
Participants (N = 306) were recruited online, via email and social media. Prospecting participants were required to report
reading French and being employed in order to participate. First, they were informed about the general purpose of
the study and assured that their anonymity would be guaranteed. Finally, they were asked to give their consent to
participate before illing the survey. Almost two-thirds of participants were women (65%). The mean age of participants
was 41 years old (M = 40.63, SD = 9.59).
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Instruments and Statistical Analyses
Statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS Statistics 25, Amos Graphics 24 and the 4.2 version of the PROCESS
macro (Hayes, 2017). Among other advantages, PROCESS allows for the isolation of each mediator’s indirect effect and
addresses some of the issues traditionally associated with the popular approach described by Baron and Kenny (1986) or
the Sobel test (see Cole et al., 2008). Internal consistency was determined using McDonald’s omega, which is considered
by some authors to be more robust than Cronbach’s alpha (e.g., Hayes & Coutts, 2020).
Perceived Clan Culture
To assess perceived clan culture, we used a dimension of the Organizational Culture Proile (OCP, O’Reilly et al., 1991)
comprised of 7 values theoretically associated with this form of organizational culture (Cameron & uinn, 2011) (e.g.,
respect for individuals’ rights, fairness, being people-oriented). Participants had to rate on a 1 (not well at all) to 5 (very
well) Likert-scale the extent to which each value described the organization they are employed by (ω = .90). The OCP
is recommended in the quantitative study of organizational culture and its inluence on occupational health outcomes
(Dextras-Gauthier et al., 2012). In 2013, Marchand et al. (2013) demonstrated their French version could be used to
accurately replicate the framework’s culture-types in this context, including clan culture. A conirmatory factor analysis
suggests a satisfactory it of the measurement model (χ2 = 32.84, df = 12, p < .01, χ2/df = 2.73, CFI = .98, NNFI = .97,
SRMR = .03).
Organizational Dehumanization
Organizational dehumanization was measured using the scale created and validated by Caesens et al. (2017). A French
version was provided by the authors. The scale is composed of 11 statements (e.g., “My organization considers me as
a tool to use for its own ends”, “My organization treats me as if I were an object”) regarding how workers think they
are treated by their organization as a whole. Answers were self-reported on a 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree)
Likert-scale. Internal consistency was very high (ω = .95). The results of a conirmatory factor analysis indicate a good
it to the data (χ2 = 102.14, df = 37, p < .001, χ2/df = 2.76, CFI = .98, NNFI = .97, SRMR = .03).
Organizational Justice
Validated by Jouglard-Tritschler and Steiner (2005) and adapted to the French organizational setting by Piasecki (2017),
Colquitt’s (2001) scale was used to measure organizational justice. The scale’s four dimensions—distributive, procedural,
interpersonal and informational justice—were respectively represented by 4, 7, 4 and 5 items. They were formulated as
questions such as “Does your outcome relect what you have contributed to the organization?” or “Does your supervisor
treat you in a polite manner?” For each query, participants had to answer on a 1 (not at all) to 5 (absolutely) Likert-scale.
For the purpose of analyzing the construct as a whole in our serial mediation model, we averaged the scores of all
dimensions into a global organizational justice score (ω = .95). Conirmatory factor analysis suggests the measurement
model its well to the data (χ2 = 485.24, df = 166, p < .001, χ2/df = 2.92, CFI = .94, NNFI = .93, SRMR = .05).
Affective Commitment
Affective commitment was measured using the French version (Belghiti-Mahut & Briole, 2004) of the Organizational
Commitment Scale (Meyer et al., 1993). The affective dimension of the scale contains 6 items for which participants had
to answer on a 5-point Likert-scale (1 = totally disagree and 5 = totally agree). Items include statements such as “I would
be very happy to spend the rest of my career with this organization” or “This organization has a great deal of personal
meaning for me” (ω = .83). Conirmatory factor analysis suggests a good it of the measurement model (χ2 = 13.68, df =
5, p < .05, χ2/df = 2.74, CFI = .98, NNFI = .96, SRMR = .03).
Control Variables
Control variables were chosen based on their potential relationships with dependent variables according to previous
literature. For instance, Bell and Khoury (2016) showed gender could moderate the effect of procedural justice on
feelings of organizational dehumanization. Tenure was previously shown to correlate with affective commitment (Meyer
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et al., 2002). Tenure was measured by asking participants to place themselves regarding six tenure intervals (less than
one year, followed by 5-years increments up to 21 years and more). Control variables were then analyzed according
to the recommendations of Becker et al. (2016). Standardized coeficients from hierarchical regression models were
compared with and without the relevant control variables. In all cases except for tenure, the differences could be
considered negligible according to these authors’ decision rule (Δβ < .1). Hence, tenure was included as a covariate in
further analyses.
Preliminary Analysis
Considering the cross-sectional design of this study, we tested whether the data were inluenced by the common-
method bias (Podsakoff et al., 2012) using structural equation modeling. We compared four alternative models. The irst
was unifactorial—all the items of the four scales loaded on a single latent factor. The second model was composed of
a latent factor on which clan culture items loaded and another covaried latent factor on which all other items did. In
the third model, items related to affective commitment and organizational justice loaded on a common covaried latent
factor while the other items still loaded on their respective ones. The inal model contained four covaried factors (clan
culture, organizational justice, organizational dehumanization and affective commitment) in which each item loaded on
its respective latent factor.
We calculated the following it indices for each model: the Carmines-McIver index (i.e., the ratio between χ2 and
degrees of freedom), the value of which must be between 2 and 3 to indicate a satisfactory it (McIver & Carmines,
1981); the Comparative Fit Index (CFI) and the Non-Normed Fit Index (NNFI), with values above .90 considered to relect
good it given our sample size (e.g., Hair et al., 2014); the Standardized Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR), with values
lower than .08 considered as satisfactory (Hu & Bentler, 1999). The models were also compared using Δχ2. We used the
maximum likelihood method to estimate parameters. The results of this procedure are provided in Table 1. Only the last
model managed to satisfy all retained it criteria; it is also conirmed to be the best model by Δχ2 tests. Overall, these
results suggest our data are not subject to common-method bias.
Table 1
Common-Method Bias Analysis
Model χ2df p χ2/df CFI NNFI SRMR Δχ2Δdf p
Model 1 – single factor 2293 346 *** 6.63 .70 .67 .10
Model 2 – covaried 2 factors 1722 345 *** 4.99 .79 .77 .10 571 1 ***
Model 3 – covaried 3 factors 1188 343 *** 3.46 .87 .86 .07 534 2 ***
Model 4 – covaried 4 factors 891 340 *** 2.62 .92 .91 .06 297 3 ***
Note. N = 306. df = degrees of freedom. χ2/df = Carmines-McIver Index. CFI = Comparative Fit Index. NNFI = Non-Normed Fit Index. SRMR =
Standardized Root Mean Square Residual.
***p < .001.
Descriptive Statistics
Descriptive statistics, scale reliability as well as correlations between variables were reported in Table 2. All skewness
and kurtosis values were between -1 and 1, suggesting small departures from normality. Organizational dehumanization
was signiicantly (p < .001) and negatively related to perceived clan culture (r = -.57), affective commitment (r = -.47) as
well as perceived organizational justice (r = -.65). As expected, perceived clan culture was positively and signiicantly (p
< .001) associated with affective commitment (r = .50), as well perceived organizational justice (r = .63). Finally, affective
commitment was positively and signiicantly (p < .001) related to perceived organizational justice (r = .51).
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Table 2
Descriptive Statistics and Bivariate Correlations
Variable M SD S K 1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Clan culture 3.24 0.86 -.25 -.32 (.90)
2. Organizational Justice 3.26 0.86 -.34 -.49 .63*** (.95)
3. Organizational Dehumanization 3.77 1.58 .11 -.82 -.57*** -.65*** (.95)
4. Affective Commitment 3.22 0.89 -.43 .08 .50*** .51*** -.47*** (.83)
5. Sex -.06 -.04 .08 -.09
6. Age 40.63 9.59 .13 -.55 .03 -.07 -.01 .07 -.19**
7. Tenure .01 -.02 .09 .14* -.25*** .61***
Note. N = 306. Sex (0 = male, 1 = female). Tenure (0 = less than one year – 6 = 21 years or more). S = Skewness. K = Kurtosis. Diagonal: McDonald's ω.
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
Hypothesis Tests
Table 3 summarizes all of the models tested in the serial mediation analysis. All models were signiicant (p < .001). Based
on 10,000 bootstrap samples with 306 cases, none of the 95% conidence intervals contained zero except for constants.
As expected (H1), the total effect of perceived clan culture on affective commitment was positive and signiicant (β =
.491, SE = .049, p < .001). Our hypotheses were also supported by the predictor’s effects on perceived organizational
justice (H2a) and organizational dehumanization (H4a). H2b was supported by the positive and signiicant effect of per
ceived organizational justice on affective commitment. Our results also seem consistent with past literature regarding
the relationship between perceived organizational justice and organizational dehumanization as well as organizational
dehumanization and affective commitment. Results indicate tenure had a small positive effect on both organizational
dehumanization and affective commitment.
Indirect effects and their bootstrapped 95% conidence intervals are reported in Table 4. None contain zero, which
supports all remaining mediation hypotheses (H3, H4b, H5a and H5b). The largest effect is the one translating perceived
clan culture’s indirect inluence on affective commitment through perceived organizational justice. Smaller indirect
effects can also be observed through organizational dehumanization mediating this relationship or by considering both
mediators. Finally, the total indirect effect (β = .269) was larger than the direct effect (β = .222). A visual representation
of the overall model has been provided (Figure 2).
Figure 2
Serial Mediation Model of Clan Culture’s Effect on Affective Commitment
While the relationship between organizational culture and effectiveness criteria has been the object of a large body
of work in the past twenty years, few studies have investigated it on the individual level. In the larger context of
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employees sometimes feeling considered as mere instruments by organizations, the purpose of our study was twofold.
First, we tested whether a traditionally studied effectiveness criterion in the form of affective commitment (Meyer et
al., 1989) could be inluenced by the manner in which employees perceive organizational culture; more speciically,
whether the extent to which employees perceived values associated with the clan culture—often considered humanizing
values—could explain their level of affective commitment. Second, we investigated this effect in relation to two potential
mediators—un/fair treatment (i.e., perceived organizational justice) and feeling considered as means to the organization’s
ends (i.e., organizational dehumanization). Taking past literature into consideration, we proposed a serial mediation
model which integrated already established relationships between these variables to our hypotheses.
All hypotheses were supported by the data. All other things being equal, employees who perceive their organization
to lack in their enforcement of human-oriented values (e.g., tolerance, trust, support) tend to be less committed in
the irst place. However, it is of note that the overall indirect effect was greater than the direct effect: this affective
distancing might not only ind its source in this initial perception but also in its reverberation through other variables.
This perceived lack of humanizing elements might simultaneously make it harder for employees to ind their organiza
tional environment fair yet easier for them to believe they are not being considered in a morally appropriate way—as
whole human beings and not simply as human resources. In doing so, it might encourage employees to question
Table 3
Serial Mediation Results
95% CI
Predictor β SE LL UL p
M1 (Organizational justice)
X .63 .05 .55 .72 ***
Constant .01 .04 -.09 .09 n.s.
Tenure -.02 .05 -.11 .06 n.s.
R2 = .40
F(2, 303) = 101.19***
M2 (Organizational dehumanization)
X -.26 .05 -.37 -.16 ***
M1 -.48 .05 -.59 -.38 ***
Constant .01 .04 -.08 .08 n.s.
Tenure .09 .04 .01 .17 *
R2 = .47
F(3, 302) = 88.86***
Y (Affective commitment)
X .22 .06 .10 .34 ***
M1 .24 .07 .11 .38 ***
M2 -.20 .06 -.33 -.08 **
Constant .01 .05 -.09 .09 n.s.
Tenure .16 .05 .07 .26 ***
R2 = .35
F(4, 301) = 41.20***
Note. N = 306. All variables were standardized. X = Clan culture. CI = conidence interval. LL = lower limit. UL = upper limit. Conidence intervals
were determined using 10,000 bootstrap samples.
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
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their employer-employee relationship in a more profound way, which begs a simple question: how long until they’re
no longer content with feeling treated this way? Indeed, as these variables may for instance foster higher turnover
intentions (e.g., Lagios et al., in press; Stanley et al., 2013) or emotional exhaustion (Caesens & Stinglhamber, 2019), it
would behoove organizations to not only consider culture from a macro perspective, but also from an individual one.
As all culture-types collaborate with one another to form a holistic organizational pattern (Hartnell et al., 2011) even
organizations not traditionally centered on clan values should take heed of such results.
Organizational culture has long been considered a multilayered construct (e.g., Schein, 2010). Part of the confusion
surrounding its study revolves around scholars not acknowledging its different levels of analysis or not distinguishing
it from organizational climate (Ostroff et al., 2013). To these points, the provided results are not intended for the
analysis of a speciic organizational unit but rather as evidence of employees’ active role in inluencing the outcomes of
organizational values. Consequently, and to the second point, our operationalization of perceived organizational culture
can be understood as the individual integration of both publicly embraced organizational values (corporate culture) and
the ones employees feel are actually conveyed by their everyday experience of the work environment (i.e., climate).
In their correlational study, Auzoult and Personnaz (2016) introduced the idea that organizational culture may play
a role in employee self-objectiication (i.e., internalizing an objectiied representation of the sel). In a similar fashion,
recent work using both cross-sectional and experimental data proposed the existence of a causal relationship between
instrumentalizing treatment and self-objectifying perceptions (Baldissarri & Andrighetto, 2021; Sainz & Baldissarri,
2021). These studies questioned the representation employees had of interpersonal relationships (e.g., with their supervi
sors, with a colleague). However—as highlighted by multiple scholars (e.g., Eisenberger et al., 2002; Ng & Sorensen,
2008)—they cannot be considered the same as the relationship between employees and their organization as an entity.
Building on this literature, our study provides novel empirical evidence suggesting an individual’s perception of their
organization’s culture may inluence how they feel considered by it as a whole in terms of fairness and organizational
dehumanization. This implies employees are not passively inluenced by their organization’s culture—in fact, rather
the contrary: by appropriating the underlying values and interpreting their relative detrimental or beneicial role in
promoting fairness or helping them fulil their needs, employees appear to actively participate in shaping the effect of
culture on their own effectiveness.
Limitations and Future Directions
Of course, these conclusions need to be put into perspective, as they exclusively relied on self-reported and cross-sec
tional data. Although we provided statistical evidence that our data was not subject to common-method bias (Podsakoff
et al., 2012), our research design is unable to support causal relationships between the mobilized variables. Consequent
ly, our choice of predictor may be questioned; conversely to our model, one could argue justice perceptions may
Table 4
Bootstrapped Indirect Effects of Perceived Clan Culture on Affective Commitment
Boot. 95% CI
Path β Boot. SE LL UL
PCC → OJ → AC .154 .042 .077 .237
PCC → OD → AC .054 .020 .019 .096
PCC → OJ → OD → AC .062 .020 .024 .104
Total effect .491 .049 .394 .588
Direct effect .222 .062 .100 .344
Total indirect effect .269 .043 .186 .356
Note. N = 306. All variables were standardized. PCC = perceived clan culture. OJ = organizational justice. OD = organizational dehumanization. AC
= affective commitment. CI = conidence interval. LL = lower limit. UL = upper limit. Conidence intervals were determined using 10,000 bootstrap
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inform values perceived by employees (i.e., reversed directionality). Such choices should preferably rely on theoretical
arguments rather than statistical ones (Hair et al., 2014). Therefore, we acknowledge the relationship between clan
culture and organizational justice perceptions may be circular and recursive—much like Bell and Khoury (2011) admitted
the one between organizational justice and organizational dehumanization might be. Additionally, cross-sectional data
traditionally does not allow for robust conclusions on mediation hypotheses (see Maxwell & Cole, 2007). Hence, future
research should turn to both longitudinal and experimental designs so as to provide more robust conclusions regarding
the directionality of the proposed paths.
Alongside the addition of pertinent variables further specifying which employees could be the most affected by
perceived clan values (part-time vs. full-time; smaller vs. larger organizations, etc.), qualitative studies could also shed
new light on the underlying processes. In addition, the validity of our indings would beneit from being reproduced in
the context of single organizational units as well as being included in a multilevel analysis of the culture-effectiveness
relationship. In doing so, future work would not only conirm the tendency we uncovered in this paper persists
within the conines of distinct organizations (or their subparts) but also integrate these indings to already documented
culture-effectiveness models.
Moreover, while the size of our sample was satisfactory, it is possible to question its representativeness of employees
in general. For instance, almost 8 out of 10 participants reported being full-time employees (79%) and a majority
of participants had the equivalent of a Master’s degree or an even higher form of education (61%). Although no
speciic effect was detected in relation to these variables, future studies may want to investigate their role as potential
moderators. Overall, they should use more representative samples so as to extend any replicated indings to the general
population. Finally, using tenure intervals to assess its inluence on our dependent variables not being optimal, future
work should measure it continuously.
The irst objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between employee perceptions of organizational
values conveying interest in fostering a fulilling work environment (i.e., clan culture) and affective commitment. We
also explored the mediating role of the extent to which employees feel fairly treated by organizational agents (i.e.,
organizational justice) and their organization as a whole (i.e., organizational dehumanization) between these variables.
Consistent with previous literature (Bell & Khoury, 2016; Caesens et al., 2019; Jang et al., 2021), our results outline
a theoretically and practically relevant serial mediation model which could be the basis of new research avenues or
psychosocial interventions. While they reinforce the clan—commitment relationship, organizational justice and organi
zational dehumanization perceptions relate to different work relationships (i.e., interpersonal vs. employer-employee). It
may be worthwhile to consider the role of managers’ organizational embodiment (Eisenberger et al., 2010) by testing
whether organizations conveying low clan values may gain by having managers compensate (and vice-versa). Practically,
our indings should encourage organizations to veer away from the pervasive instrumental representation of employees
they might carry. They can also be appropriated by managers willing to recognize that making employees’ intrinsic
value (i.e., both means and ends in themselves) one of their core preoccupations may positively shape the reverberations
of top-down organizational phenomena on employee effectiveness.
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank the participants, without whom this study would never have been possible.
Competing Interests: The authors declare no conlict of interest.
Data Availability: The data used and analyzed in this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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About the Authors
Jean-Félix Hamel is a PhD student in social and organizational psychology at the University of Rouen Normandy. His doctoral
thesis investigates the psychological outcomes of uberization (a speciic type of digital platform-work), namely its dehumanizing
Fabrizio Scrima is a full professor in social and organizational psychology at the University of Rouen Normandy. His research
interests are: attitudes and behaviors at work, workplace attachment styles, well-being and comfort at work.
Lucie Massot is an undergraduate student in social and organizational psychology at University of Paris 8. Her research interests are:
organizational culture, management style, meaning of work and work recognition.
Benoît Montalan is an associate professor in social psychology at the University of Rouen Normandy. His research interest is
focused on stigmatization and dehumanization in societal and organizational contexts.
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Full-text available
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Recent research has revealed that work often can undermine people's humanness by promoting a view of them as mere objects. In particular, the workers’ meta‐perceptions of being treated as company resources (i.e., organizational dehumanization) and their self‐perceptions of being instrument‐like (i.e., self‐objectification) could be triggered by several factors. Previous research has identified that abusive supervisors and engaging in objectifying (repetitive, fragmented and other oriented) tasks are two of the main key factors that affect worker's dehumanization. The present project aims to disentangle the extent both factors (perceptions of abusive leadership and performing objectifying tasks) contribute to created perceptions of organizational dehumanization and self‐objectification among workers that, ultimately, affects workers job satisfaction. In Study 1 (N = 208 workers), we measured the extent perceived abusive supervisors and objectifying job features predicted organizational dehumanization, self‐objectification, and job satisfaction. The results indicate that abusive supervisors predicted perceptions of organizational dehumanization and workers self‐objectification in a higher extent than objectifying job features, while workers job satisfaction was predicted in a higher extent by objectifying job features. In Study 2 (N = 141), we experimentally manipulated the abusive (versus nonabusive) supervisors and the objectifying (versus nonobjectifying) tasks in a laboratory setting. Results also indicated that the abusive supervisor exerts a greater influence than performing objectifying tasks on organizational dehumanization, self‐objectification, and job satisfaction. The detrimental effect of an abusive supervisor in comparison with other working conditions on workers’ humanness is discussed, and practical implications are highlighted.
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This research examined the negative relationship between leader-member exchange (LMX) and organizational dehumanization (i.e., employees’ perceptions that their organization treats them like tools), and specifically the consequences of this LMX-dehumanization relationship on employees’ emotional exhaustion, affective commitment, and voice behaviors. Further, given that supervisors act as representatives of the organization, we argued that these relationships would be stronger for employees identifying their supervisor with the organization (i.e., high supervisor’s organizational embodiment). Across two studies, results showed that high-quality LMX was negatively associated with organizational dehumanization. Further, organizational dehumanization was found to mediate the relationships between LMX and outcomes (i.e., emotional exhaustion, affective commitment, and voice behaviors). Finally, the mediation model was moderated by supervisor’s organizational embodiment. More specifically, the negative effects of LMX on organizational dehumanization and its subsequent outcomes were stronger when leaders were perceived as sharing many characteristics with their organization. This research expands the recent and scarce knowledge on the determinants, boundary conditions and outcomes of organizational dehumanization. Our findings suggest that interpersonal relationships at work and, in particular, very common supervisor-related perceptions should be considered when examining organizational dehumanization.
In the present paper, we investigate dehumanization processes from a victim perspective. We propose that dehumanization experiences, i.e. metadehumanization, arise from people’s feelings that their fundamental human needs are thwarted and that such experiences influence their emotions, self-esteem, and coping strategies. Our model is put at test in three contexts involving different types of dehumanization victims: Women (Study 1a, N = 349), patients with severe alcohol use disorder (Study 1b, N = 120), and employees in organizations (Study 1c, N = 347). Our integrated model of metadehumanization, which considers both its antecedents and consequences, proved stable across contexts and populations and therefore helps building bridges between different psychological disciplines in which dehumanization occurs.
Cronbach’s alpha (α) is a widely-used measure of reliability used to quantify the amount of random measurement error that exists in a sum score or average generated by a multi-item measurement scale. Yet methodologists have warned that α is not an optimal measure of reliability relative to its more general form, McDonald’s omega ( ω). Among other reasons, that the computation of ω is not available as an option in many popular statistics programs and requires items loadings from a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) have probably hindered more widespread adoption. After a bit of discussion of α versus ω, we illustrate the computation of ω using two structural equation modeling programs (Mplus and AMOS) and the MBESS package for R. We then describe a macro for SPSS and SAS (OMEGA) that calculates ω in two ways without relying on the estimation of loadings or error variances using CFA. We show that it produces estimates of ω that are nearly identical to when using CFA-based estimates of item loadings and error variances. We also discuss the use of the OMEGA macro for certain forms of item analysis and brief form construction based on the removal of items from a longer scale.
The purpose of this study is to identify the impact of organizational justice on organizational commitment of public organization. To do so, this study first divided organizational justice into distributive justice and procedural justice and analyzed the effect of each type of justice on organizational commitment. Second, this study analyzed the mediating effect of public service value on the relationship between organizational justice and organizational commitment, reflecting the characteristics of public organizations. The results of the analysis demonstrated the following: First, both distributive justice and procedural justice resulted in an increase in organizational commitment. Second, procedural justice resulted in an increase in public service value. However, distributive justice resulted in a decrease in public service value. Third, in relation to organizational justice and commitment, the mediated effect of public service value was statistically significant.