The impact of fairness, organizational trust, and perceived organizational support on police officer performance
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One of the strongest predictors of employee performance among organizational factors is organizational justice, while social exchange theory has emerged as the prominent paradigm to explain the processes that link perceived fairness to performance. However, there is scant research on how perceptions of fairness and justice relate to workplace behaviors among police officers. This research addressed this shortfall by analyzing the relationship between perceptions of organizational justice and work performance. Also examined are the potential mediating effects of social exchange indicators (organizational trust and perceived organizational support). Work performance measures included organizational citizenship behaviors, patrol task performance, general task performance, defiance, self-protective behaviors, and three dimensions of counterproductive work behaviors (production deviance, self-protective behaviors, and defiance). Data were collected utilizing an online self-report survey distributed to police officer associations in a southern state. Findings from structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis showed that overall fairness was positively related to police and general task performance, a combined measure including organizational trust and perceived organizational support (trust/support), while negatively related to self-protective behaviors, deviance, and defiance. Trust/support was negatively related to self-protective behaviors, defiance, and patrol task. In regard to mediation, perceived organizational support and trust significantly partially mediated the effect of overall fairness on self-protective behaviors, deviance, and patrol task. Findings suggest that police administrators may be able to enhance police officer overall work performance and ultimately their quality service to the community, by enhancing overall fairness perceptions of the organization among police officers.