Original Research

Effect of organisational justice on workplace deviance in Nigerian public universities

Grace O. Obalade, Vuyokazi Mtembu
Acta Commercii | Vol 23, No 1 | a1091 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v23i1.1091 | © 2023 Grace O. Obalade, Vuyokazi Mtembu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 July 2022 | Published: 22 March 2023

About the author(s)

Grace O. Obalade, School of Management, IT and Public Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Vuyokazi Mtembu, Graduate School of Business, College of Law and Management Studies, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Orientation: Universities in Nigeria every so often experience the challenges of workplace deviant behaviour (WDB). These acts among university’s staff could be detrimental to the attainment of the fundamental objectives of tertiary education; hence, it is vital that drastic measures are taken to curb such behaviours.

Research purpose: The objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of organisational justice (OJ) on WDB in Nigerian public universities.

Motivation for the study: Although ample studies exist on organisational behaviour, not many empirical studies have been conducted to examine the role of organisational factors such as OJ (perception of fairness) on employee’s deviant behaviour in universities, especially in Nigeria.

Research design, approach and method: This quantitative design employed a positivist research paradigm in achieving its objectives. A survey, using a structured close-ended questionnaire, was conducted among 572 employees of selected public universities in South-West Nigeria. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the effect or OJ on WDB.

Main findings: The findings revealed that procedural justice has significant and increasing effect on both organisational and interpersonal deviance. Conversely, interpersonal justice has a significant reducing effect on organisational deviance, while informational and distributive justice do not determine WDB.

Practical/managerial implications: Based on the finding of this study, managers of public universities must pursue interpersonal justice as a way out of organisational deviance.

Contribution/value-add: The study’s findings contribute to justice-deviance literature in Nigeria and highlight the need for government and management alike to emphasise interactional justice in the workplace if deviant acts are to be curbed.


organisational justice; workplace deviance; public universities; tertiary institutions; Nigeria.

JEL Codes

C12: Hypothesis Testing: General; D22: Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis; I23: Higher Education • Research Institutions

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions


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Crossref Citations

1. HEXACO personality domains and deviant behavior in Nigerian public universities
Grace Obalade, Adefemi A. Obalade, Vuyokazi Mtembu
Problems and Perspectives in Management  vol: 21  issue: 3  first page: 11  year: 2023  
doi: 10.21511/ppm.21(3).2023.02