Organizational Justice at the Front Lines of Probation – Agents’ and Supervisors’ Perspectives




Goldberg, Victoria Lauren

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This thesis compares the perceptions of mid-level managers and frontline staff in a mid-Atlantic state’s parole and probation department. Specifically, this paper looks at staff perceptions of the organization’s culture as well as distributive justice and procedural justice. Prior research rarely considers differences between frontline staff and frontline management. It is important to explore these differences because if staff and their managers are not in agreement about issues such as culture, they can hinder the goals and mission of the organization. In turn, this disconnect may undermine everyday practice and organizational performance. This thesis compares the average scores of these two groups on three different scales and then uses a series of linear regressions to determine what demographic factors predict organizational culture, distributive and procedural justice. The findings indicate that staff have similar perspectives, regardless of job titles, on organizational culture; they find the culture to be hierarchical-structural. There are no statistically significant differences in staff’s perceptions of distributive justice, though regressions analyses found that race influence their perception of equity in the organization. Finally, middle managers and frontline staff differ on perceptions of procedural justice, with middle managers reporting that the organization is more procedurally fair than frontline staff. Limitations and future research are also explored.



Probation, Organizational justice, Frontline staff, Middle managers