The Mediating Effects of Emotional Exhaustion Cynicism and Learned Helplessness on Organizational Justice-Turnover Intentions Linkage

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Tayfur O., Karapinar P. B. , Camgoz S.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF STRESS MANAGEMENT, vol.20, no.3, pp.193-221, 2013 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1037/a0033938
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.193-221


The study tests an integrative model that considers the mediating effect of burnout and learned helplessness on the relationships between organizational justice and turnover intentions. Organizational injustice is expected to act as a workplace stressor, triggering emotional reactions such as exhaustion, cynicism, and helplessness. These in turn manifest themselves as dysfunctional organizational attitudes such as turnover intentions. Data were collected through sequential design from 217 banking employees and analyzed with full-latent variable model using AMOS 17. Results provided partial support for the proposed conceptual model. Specifically, emotional exhaustion mediated the linkages between procedural justice-turnover intentions and distributive justice-turnover intentions; cynicism acted as a mediator only between procedural justice and turnover intentions. The mediating model fit to the data satisfactorily with GFI of .98 and CFI of .99. Neither the relationship between justice perceptions and helplessness nor the relationship between helplessness and turnover intentions was found to be significant. Emotional exhaustion (beta = .15, p < .05) and cynicism (beta = .49, p < .05), both of which are shown to be cognitive and emotional reactions arising from perceived injustice, seem to positively relate with desire for quitting. These intentions could translate into actual turnover, thus, hampering organizational performance.