School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)


Wendy Anson


positive leadership, organizational justice, interactional justice, employee engagement


Human Resources Management | Psychology


Increasing employee engagement has been a challenge for many organizations in recent years, especially in America. Most research has focused on organizational factors related to engagement; few have explored interactional issues from a positive leadership perspective. This study sought to contribute to research on engagement by exploring its relationship with fairness and trust This study viewed fairness from the perspective interactional justice, as defined by the interactional justice scale of Colquitt’s Organizational Justice Scale (OJS). This study also viewed trust from the perspective of leader trustworthiness, a positive leadership attribute. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the effects of interactional justice and leader trustworthiness on employee engagement. This study was comprised of a 34-item survey adapted from the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-short form), the Behavioral Trust Inventory (BTI), and the Colquitt’s Organizational Justice Scale (OJS). A multiple regression analysis was conducted on the data provided by 244 survey participants. The results supported that leader trustworthiness and interactional justice relate to an increase in employee engagement. The results also demonstrated a very strong relationship between interactional justice and trust. From a practical perspective, this study provided support for positive leadership behaviors that leaders could use to increase employee engagement. From a theoretical perspective, this study provided implication for additional research on employee engagement and positive leadership frameworks.