Abstract

This study aims to test the Social Exchange Theory in a collectivist society and extends it by examining the link between distributive justice (DJ) and work engagement (WE). Specifically, individual exchange ideology (IEI) is integrated into the relationship, and it establishes if exchange ideology mediates between the relationships. The study was conducted on a large sample (499) of Turkish blue and white-collar employees from business units of 15 independent companies; 10 different industry types and data was analysed with Structural Equation Modelling. The findings of this research supported the previous findings about DJ’s positive relationship with WE. Secondly, findings showed that IEI acted as a mediator between DJ and WE, and it mediated 24% of the effect of DJ’s on WE. Results revealed that employees reciprocated perceived justice (DJ in our case) by engaging themselves more in their work, to meet organisational goals, but this increases with the effect of individual exchange ideology; and therefore, supported the applicability of Social Exchange Theory in a collectivist society, namely in a Turkish context.