Research Article: 2018 Vol: 22 Issue: 1
Tubagus Ismail, Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa
Sri Astuti, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University
Reskino, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University
Ade Sofyan Mulazid, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University
Islamic Work Ethics, Organizational Justice, Job Satisfaction, Accountants, Indonesia
Most empirical evidence in previous studies have indicated that a professional accountant holds an important and strategic role in implementation of good governance by treating them fairly (Tout, Ghazzawi, El Nemar & Choughari, 2014; Hoitash, Hoitash & Kurt, 2016; Elmassri, Harris & Carter, 2016). Considering the important and strategic roles of accountants, job satisfaction of accountants need to be taken care of, so the accountants can provide positive contribution consistently. Most previous studies on job satisfaction focused on occupational characteristics including income, job characteristics, work-family conflict, stress and leadership (Judge, Piccolo, Podsakoff, Shaw & Rich, 2010). However, more researchers are now turning their attention to the influence of individual factors on job satisfaction (Zhang et al., 2014). One of the individual factors that can markedly affect job satisfaction is organizational justice (Ouyang et al., 2015). Organizational justice encompasses three specific forms of justice: Distributive justice, procedural justice and interactive justice (Zainalipour, Fini & Mirkamali, 2010; Rokhman & Hassan, 2012). Unlike previous studies, the current study focused on analysing relationship between job satisfaction with organizational justice and Islamic work ethics.
There are many firms that are facing unethical business issues nowadays (Shafique et al., 2015; Suryanto, 2016). Some firms experience huge loss and some others even go to bankruptcy (e.g. Enron, worldCom, Tyco, American Insurance Group (AIG), Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff, etc.). The main problem of all those scandals is the lack of ethics implemented in business practices. Therefore, ethics issues are important as one of the solutions in solving business scandals (Yazid & Suryanto, 2016). Many scholars rely on a theory focusing on work ethics that is based upon Max Weber theory. The theory emphasizes the capitalism economy, but it fails to apply justice since it gives individuals the freedom to engage in all economic activities (Thalassinos et al., 2010). Thus, the current study proposes Islamic work ethics to be used as a guidance to solve problems in current business practices.
Understanding business ethics from Islamic perspective has become important for business currently (Khan et al., 2015). Islamic work ethics is a set of values or system of beliefs that are derived from the Quran and Hadith concerning work and hard work (Rokhman, 2010). Islamic work ethics is important to be examined in relation to job satisfaction and organizational justice, at least for two reasons. First, Islamic work ethics is multi-dimensional and related to various aspects of life such as social, politics and economics (Ahmad & Owoyemi, 2012). Second, the role of Islamic work ethics in organizational justice has not received adequate attention in the literature (Rokhman & Hassan, 2012), especially in the context of accountant profession.
The objective of this research was to observe the influence of Islamic work ethics and their implementation on organizational justice, as well as their subsequent effect on accountants’ job satisfaction. Results from this study would provide a positive contribution and input for accountants, organization leaders and those responsible in drafting ethical codes for professional associations. If the government and stakeholders stress on the urgency of implementation of Islamic work ethics in organizational working environments, good governance will then run harmoniously with the values expressed in the Quran and Hadith. This paper is organized as follows: Section 2 discusses the theory and hypotheses development, Section 3 reports the data collection and measurement. Section 4 discusses the analysis and some of the findings and Section 5 concludes the paper.
Islamic Work Ethics and Organizational Justice
Understanding the relationship between work ethics and organizational justice is essential in mitigating employee performance issues. Islamic work ethics are closely related to justice (Rokhman, 2010). Rokhman and Hassan (2012) conducted a study involving employees in Islamic microfinance institutions in Indonesia. Their study found that Islamic work ethics had a positive effect on all dimensions of organizational justice (distributive justice, procedural justice and interactive justice). Another study was conducted by Abbasi & Rana (2012) on employees of telecommunications industry in Pakistan. Their study showed that Islamic work ethics was positively related to organizational justice. Furthermore, Marri et al. (2013) performed a research on public sector institutions in Pakistan and the results showed that Islamic work ethics could encourage the role of organizational justice in reducing employees’ turnover intentions.
Another study was also conducted by Farahizade & Belaghat (2013) on male and female school managers in Iran. This study showed that there was a positive relationship between Islamic work ethics with procedural justice and interactive justice, but not with distributive justice. Another study was conducted by Khan et al. (2015) on medical faculty members of a large private university in Pakistan. Their study showed that Islamic work ethics could reduce employees’ turnover intentions when the organization implemented procedural justice and distributive justice. While Farsi et al. (2015) carried out a study on officers in the Police Department of Iran. Their study found that Islamic work ethics could encourage the implementation of organizational justice.
Durkhanai et al. (2016) investigated the correlation of work ethics, organizational justice and job outcome among employees of private public universities in Iran. Their study showed that work ethics could encourage implementation of distributive and procedural justice in increasing job outcomes. Furthermore, a study conducted by Sarmadi et al. (2017) on medical science staff in a university of showed that Islamic work ethics positively affected three variables of organizational justice (procedural justice, interactive justice and distributional justice). Based on the results of these studies, it can be concluded that Islamic work ethics have positive effects on implementation of distributive justice, procedural justice and interactive justice. Therefore, there were three hypotheses proposed in the current study:
H1a: Islamic work ethics positively influence the implementation of distributive justice.
H1b: Islamic work ethics positively influence the implementation of procedural justice.
H1c: Islamic work ethics positively influence the implementation of interactive justice.
Organizational Justice and Job Satisfaction
Zagladi, Hadiwidjojo, Rahayu & Noermijati (2015) stated that justice in an organization is a determining factor that can make someone stay or leave the organization. This statement was strengthened by Al-Zubi (2010) who wrote about a common belief that if a member of an organization has been treated justly, it will bring a positive impact on job satisfaction. Zainalipour et al. (2010) explored the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational justice among teachers in Iran. Their study showed a significant positive relationship between job satisfaction and organizational justice, distributive and interactive justice positively correlate with job satisfaction. Further study conducted by Al-Zu’bi (2010) on the relationship between organizational justice and job satisfaction in an industrial company in Jordan. The findings of this study showed that there was a significant positive correlation between employee satisfaction and all the dimensions of organizational justice (distributive, procedural, interactive).
Study by Tziner, et al. (2011) on employees in Israel showed a significant positive relationship between perceived organizational justice and job satisfaction. Other findings by Nojani et al. (2012) on teachers in Iran indicated that there was a positive and significant relationship between organizational justice and job satisfaction. While a study by Dundar & Tabancali (2012) on primary school teachers in Istanbul, Turkey found a positive correlation between organizational justice and job satisfaction. Another study by Lotfi & Pour (2013) on teachers in Tehran, Iran showed a relationship between organizational justice and job satisfaction. However, only procedural justice that was able to predict job satisfaction. Further study by Altahayneh et al. (2014) explored the relationship between organizational justice and teachers’ job satisfaction in Jordan that showed a positive relationship between job satisfaction and organizational justice. Interactive justice was found to be the best predictor for teachers’ job satisfaction, followed by procedural and distributive justice.
A Study conducted by Lopez-Cabarcos et al. (2014) on employees of five star hotels in Portugal showed that distributive justice and interactive justice affected job satisfaction. While Khan et al. (2015) investigated the correlation between procedural justice and job satisfaction among medical faculty members of a large private university in Pakistan. Their study showed that procedural justice was positively related to job satisfaction. Another study was conducted by Ouyang et al. (2015) on employees from a large-scale information technology enterprise in China. The findings showed that organizational justice (distributive justice, procedural justice and interactive justice) was an important factor affecting job satisfaction. Further study by Hao et al. (2016) on employees from state-owned enterprises and private companies in some cities in China indicated that distributive justice, procedural justice and interactive justice were positively related to job satisfaction.
Kashif et al. (2016) performed a research on bank employees in Pakistan on correlation between organizational justice and job satisfaction. The results revealed that all dimensions of organizational justice (distributive justice, procedural justice, interactive, justice) were positively correlated with job satisfaction. Based on those studies, it can be concluded that implementation of distributive justice, procedural justice and interactive justice has positive effect on job satisfaction. So, there were three hypotheses proposed:
H2a: Implementation of distributive justice positively influences job satisfaction.
H2b: Implementation of procedural justice positively influences job satisfaction.
H2c: Implementation of interactive justice positively influences job satisfaction.
Islamic Work Ethics and Job Satisfaction
Mohamed et al. (2010) investigated the correlation of Islamic work ethics with job satisfaction among academic staff in the International Islamic University Malaysia. Their study found Islamic work ethic to be significantly and positively related to job satisfaction. Another study was conducted by Hayati & Caniago (2012) on employees of Islamic banking in Bandar Lampung, Indonesia. Their results showed Islamic work ethics significantly and positively related to job satisfaction. Employees with higher regard for values in Islamic work ethics were predicted to have higher job satisfaction. While Zaman et al. (2013) explored the correlation between Islamic work ethic and job satisfaction among full time employees of public and private organizations in Pakistan. Their study found a significant positive relationship between Islamic work ethics and job satisfaction. Furthermore, Najjari & Davoudi (2013) analysed the relationship between Islamic work ethics and job satisfaction in manufacturing companies of Iran. They reported f that Islamic work ethics had a significant positive influence on job satisfaction of employees.
A study was conducted by Ajmal & Irfan (2014) on correlation of Islamic work ethics with job satisfaction among employees in educational institutes, banks and the government and private organizations in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It showed that Islamic work ethics was positively related to job satisfaction. Another study by Shafique et al. (2015) on employees in Pakistani agriculture sector showed that Islamic work ethics had a positive influence on job satisfaction. Other study by Mohammadian (2015) expressed a significant relationship between work ethics and job satisfaction. Further study conducted by Amilin (2016) showed Islamic work ethics could encourage job satisfaction and improve employees’ work performance. Next, Yusof, Yusof & Abbas (2017) investigated the effects of Islamic work ethics on job satisfaction in an organization. Their findings showed that the implementation of Islamic work ethics in the organization influenced job satisfaction among workers. Based on the results of these studies it can be concluded that Islamic work ethics has a positive effect on job satisfaction. So, the third hypothesis proposed was as follows:
H3: Islamic work ethics positively influence job satisfaction.
Based on these concepts, theories and previous studies, the conceptual framework used in the current authors own study, which described relatedness of the tested variables is shown in Figure 1.
Respondents in this study consisted of 202 accountants who worked in Indonesian Islamic financial industry. Data was collected by providing questionnaire to the accountants. Sample selection was performed using a purposive sampling method. Variables in theoretical model were latent variables relatedness. Data was collected and managed by using AMOS 21 program. Respondents were asked to rate their level of agreement on statements written in the questionnaire using Likert scale, with 1 rated as “totally disagree” and 5 as “totally agree”.
In this model, there were five latent variables (1) Islamic work ethics, (2) distributive justice, (3) procedural justice, (4) interactive justice and (5) job satisfaction. Variables related to Islamic work ethics were measured through instruments developed by Ali (2005) that consisted of 17 indicators (a brief version). Instruments to measure the organizational justice variable was developed by Niehoff and Moorman (2003) consisting of 19 indicators, which were further sub-divided into three dimensions: Distributive justice (5 indicators), procedural justice (5 indicators) and interactive justice (9 indicators). Job satisfaction variable was measured using instrument developed by Al-Dmour and Awamleh (2002) consisting of 7 indicators.
Respondents were taken from Islamic banking industry (26 respondents), Islamic insurance industry (105 respondents), Islamic-based corporate (28 respondents) and other Islamic-based financial industries (43 respondents). The average working experience in each industry was: Islamic banking industry (4.5 years); Islamic insurance industry (5.2 years); Islamic-based corporate (7 years); and other Islamic-based financial industries (4.1 years).
Mean, standard deviation and minimum and maximum answer to each construct of Islamic work ethics, distributive justice, procedural justice, interactive justice and job satisfaction are shown in Table 1.
|Table 1 : Descriptive Statistics For Each Construct|
|Islamic work ethics||3.1||0.92||1||5|
The Main requirement needed to perform SEM analyses is that the data should be normally distributed (Byrne, 2010). In the current study Jarque Bera test (JB test) was used for Normality testing. There were three requirements to be fulfilled. First, all indicator items that formed a construct had to be normally distributed. The result from JB test was less than chi square value at α=5 percent. The value of χ2 (0.005,2) =5.99 obtained from the Jarque-Bera test result showed that the entire indicator value was less than 5.99, which meant the data was normally distributed. Second, the loading factor for all indicators had to be at least 0.5; and third, the model must had an acceptable fit (Table 2). After deleting some outliers, the results fulfilled the three conditions required.
|Table 2 : Parameters Of The Model|
|Measurement model||Standard for acceptance|
Composite reliability (CR) was used to check measurement accuracy. The CR coefficient value ranged between 0.911-0.915 and it was above the acceptance rate of 0.70 (Hair et al., 2013).Moreover, the AVE coefficient value ranged between 0.70-0.81 and the coefficient value was above the recommended cut-off rate of 0.50. The loading item value ranged between 0.54-0.98, which was also above the recommended rate of 0.50, so the results showed adequate convergent validity (Hair et al., 2013). As shown in Table 2, all parameters show a model fit. Next, the output results are presented in Table 3 to answer the hypotheses.
|Table 3 : Output Results|
|Hypotheses||Exogenous variables||Endogenous variables||Loading||Test result|
|H1a||Islamic work ethics||Distributive justice||0.25||Not supported|
|H1b||Islamic work ethics||Procedural justice||0.23***||Supported|
|H1c||Islamic work ethics||Interactive justice||0.50**||Supported|
|H2a||Distributive justice||Job satisfaction||0.34***||Supported|
|H2b||Procedural justice||Job satisfaction||0.43***||Supported|
|H2c||Interactive justice||Job satisfaction||0.47**||Supported|
|H3||Islamic work ethics||Job satisfaction||0.32***||Supported|
|Islamic work ethics||0.653||0.8080842||0.952|
Notes: Significant at: *0.05, **0.01 and ***0.001
Based on the hypotheses testing (Table 3), Islamic work ethics did not show significant influence to distributive justice. As a result, H1a was not accepted. This finding was not consistent with the majority of previous researches (e.g. Rokhman and Hassan, 2012; Khan et al., 2015; Farsi et al., 2015; Sarmadi et al., 2017), except with Farahizade & Belaghat (2013) who also reported similar finding. Justice refers to the fairness of organizational practices in any aspects that are related to resources allocation (Rokhman and Hassan, 2012). Distributive justice is absent when equal work does not produce equal outcomes or when an individual or a group acquires a disproportionate amount of goods (Khan et al., 2015). This is also confirmed by Durkhanai et al. (2016), who argued that organizations with proper human resources management apply reward systems for their employees.
If distributive justice is connected with Islamic work ethics, its application will not merely consider proportionality of reward. Rokhman (2010) stated that there were many important things to be considered in terms of justice in the Islamic context. It covers placing employees in the most suitable position based on their ability, making right decisions based on situations and rewarding the right person. As a result, H1a was rejected since Islamic work ethics teach people to work not only to gain rewards, but also to achieve blessings from Allah (God). Rewards are believed to be gained automatically when employees perform their best.
Next, the output results showed that Islamic work ethics significantly influenced procedural justice and interactive justice with loadings of 0.23 and 0.50, respectively, which were significant at the levels 0.001 and 0.01. Therefore, H1b and H1c were accepted. It meant that Islamic work ethics strengthened both procedural and interactive justice. This finding was consistent with previous studies (e.g. Rokhman and Hassan, 2012; Abbasi & Rana, 2012; Farahizade & Belaghat, 2013; Farsi et al., 2015; Sarmadi et al., 2017). In justice theory, procedural justice is felt by all employees as a chosen process to determine reward distribution (Robbins and Judge, 2013). It is a concept that focuses on the method to determine the acceptable rewards for employees (Zainalipour et al. 2010). Furthermore, Marri et al. (2013) viewed procedural justice as a finishing procedure by third parties through arbitration and mediation within the steps of a decision-making process.
Robbins and Judge (2013) defined interactive justice as an individual perception on how far the organization treats its employees with dignity, by paying attention to employees’ dedication. Through procedural and interactive justice, employees perceive whether treatment from their organization is fair based on procedural aspects and on whether relationships with their peers are inferior or superior (Ismail, 2016). Islamic work ethics push the implementation of procedural and interactive justice because they provide an environment suitable to a self-development process for the employees through more dynamic work, both as leaders and as followers (Abbasi & Rana, 2012).
Statistical analysis of the second hypothesis showed that there was a positive and significant relationship between each of the three dimensions of organizational justice and job satisfaction. The output results from this relationship were 0.34, 0.43 and 0.47, which were significant at 0.001. Therefore, H2a, H2b and H2c were accepted and Islamic work ethics positively influenced distributive, procedural and interactive justice. This findings were consistent with the findings from prior researches on organizational justice and job satisfaction (e.g. Zainalipour et al., 2010; Al-Zu’bi, 2010; Tziner et al., 2011; Nojani et al., 2012; Dundar & Tabancali, 2012; Lotfi & Pour, 2013; Altahayneh et al., 2014; Lopez-Cabarcos et al., 2014; Khan et al., 2015; Ouyang et al., 2015; Hao et al., 2016; Kashif et al., 2016). If an accountant’s working environment is conducive and dynamic, the accountant will give an optimum work performance. Through this optimum performance, they will receive an adequate reward, which will satisfy them. A satisfied employee will minimize their fraud activity (Zhang et al., 2014). Such conditions will push the implementation of good corporate governance (Tout et al., 2014; Hoitash et al., 2016; Elmassri et al., 2016; Suryanto, 2016). Eventually, it can be expected that large fraud cases such as Enron, worldCom, Tyco, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff and others may no longer occur.
Statistical analysis of the third hypothesis showed a positive relationship between Islamic work ethics and job satisfaction, with: Loading value of 0.32, which was significant at 0.001. Thus, the third hypothesis was accepted. This finding was similar with those from prior researches on Islamic work ethics and job satisfaction (e.g. Mohamed et al., 2010; Hayati & Caniago, 2012; Zaman et al., 2013; Najjari & Davoudi, 2013; Ajmal & Irfan, 2014; Shafique et al., 2015; Mohammadian, 2015; Amilin, 2016; Yusof et al., 2017).
High job satisfaction will minimize an employee’s intention to leave (Bayercelik & Findikli, 2016). Furthermore, Najjari & Davoudi (2013) stated that comprehending the relationship between Islamic work ethics and job satisfaction has become a critical means to explore the factors to explain reduction in job satisfaction. This finding is important for the accounting profession. The implementation of Islamic work ethics will push accountants to work suitably with the moral principles in Islam, which differentiate between right and wrong (Rokhman, 2010; Ahmad & Owoyemi, 2012). Islamic work ethics stress the cooperative aspects involved in solving or overcoming problems at work, while creativity and diligence are the main keys to reach achievement (Ajmal & Irfan, 2014).
This study concluded that Islamic work ethics positively influenced two dimensions of organizational justice (procedural and interactive justice), but not on distributive justice. Other results showed that all dimensions of organizational justice positively influenced job satisfaction and Islamic work ethics positively influenced job satisfaction. This study contributes to building the knowledge of Islamic work ethics, by exploring working values taken from the Quran and Hadith, as a guide on how accountants could implement organizational justice to encourage job satisfaction. This study fills the research gap and criticizes the Weber theory that emphasizes on capitalism. As an implication of this study, professional accountants are expected to pay more attention on the urgency of Islamic work ethics in organizational working environments, so that good governance can run harmoniously with the values expressed in the Quran and Hadith. Especially for Muslim worker, Islamic work ethics teach people to receive blessings from Allah, not just rewards; for rewards are believed to be achieved automatically when employees perform at their best. For future research, we recommend to observe work ethics based on other faiths or religions in the world.
The authors would like to thank to The Centre for Research and Publishing, Institute for Research and Community Services, UIN Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta, Indonesia that had facilitated our research funding.
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