Title

An instrument to measure perceptions of organizational justice of middle school students

Date of Completion

January 2002

Keywords

Education, Administration|Education, Elementary

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to measure middle school students' perceptions of three constructs of organizational justice, which are Distributive Justice, Procedural Justice, and Interactional Justice. It was hypothesized that school injustice, whether real or perceived, creates social, psychological, and physical disharmony for those who experience it. Therefore, a second purpose was to examine the relationship of students' perceptions of organizational justice to their experiences with conflict and bullying. A pool of items was developed to operationalize the organizational justice constructs and to measure the amount of conflict and bullying experienced by the student. ^ Instrument development proceeded with pilot testing using a sample of 442 middle school students with usable data from 408 respondents. A Likert-type response format ranged from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 4 (Strongly Agree). Demographic information consisted of grade level, gender, and race. Using principal components analysis and reliability analysis, the original 55-item instrument was reduced to 29 items with four principal components—Distributive/Procedural Justice, Interactional Justice, Amount of Conflict, and Amount of Bullying. Individual scale reliabilities ranged from .82 to .90. Significant positive correlations were found between both Justice scales and the Amounts of Conflict and Bullying scales. Significant differences between groups for gender and grade level were found for all four scales. ^ The instrument that emerged from the pilot phase consisted of four subscales and a total of 29 Likert-type items and demographic items. The instrument was administered to 344 middle school students, with 343 usable responses. The statistics performed on the pilot data were replicated on the test data with similar results, except that Maximum Likelihood was chosen as the extraction option in the factor analysis of the items. Individual scale reliabilities ranged from .74 to .87. Analysis conducted found Distributive/Procedural Justice and Interactional Justice scales predict Amounts of Conflict and Bullying. Additional analysis shows evidence of relationships between groups for organizational justice, specifically, gender and grade level. The outcome of the study was a valid and reliable instrument supporting the hypothesis that perceptions of injustice are linked to conflict and violence. ^