About the Author(s)


Zulkarnain Zulkarnain Email symbol
Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia

Eka D.J. Ginting symbol
Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia

Abdhy A. Adnans symbol
Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia

Maria M. Sianturi symbol
Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia

Citation


Zulkarnain, Z., Ginting, E.D.J., Adnans, A.A., & Sianturi, M.M. (2024). Organisational justice and work-family conflict: Impact to quality of work life. SA Journal of Human Resource Management/SA Tydskrif vir Menslikehulpbronbestuur, 22(0), a2393. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v22i0.2393

Original Research

Organisational justice and work-family conflict: Impact to quality of work life

Zulkarnain Zulkarnain, Eka D.J. Ginting, Abdhy A. Adnans, Maria M. Sianturi

Received: 17 July 2023; Accepted: 30 Oct. 2023; Published: 15 Jan. 2024

Copyright: © 2024. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Orientation: The development of quality of work life (QWL) in line with the needs of employees will balance personal growth and social life in the workplace. Improving the QWL has an impact on employee efficiency and organisational productivity.

Research purpose: This study determines how organisational justice and work-family conflict determine the QWL. We conducted a cross-sectional study. Participants were selected based on characteristics and the objective of the study.

Motivation for the study: Employees’ well-being and fairness in the workplace are crucial factors that can significantly impact their job satisfaction, productivity and overall organisational outcomes.

Research approach/design and method: Data collection used questionnaires and involved 508 oil palm plantation officers. The hierarchical regression analysis was used to find out the determinant of QWL.

Main findings: We found that organisational justice and work-family conflict are predictors of QWL. Work-family conflict is associated with low levels of QWL. Interactional justice and time-based conflict was the best predictor of QWL.

Practical/managerial implications: The emergence of work-family conflict will reduce employee job satisfaction, and ultimately, the QWL will decrease.

Contribution/value-add: These findings could be guidelines for managing a healthy work culture that eventually leads to the organisation’s success.

Keywords: quality of work life; work-family conflict; organisational justice; procedural justice; time-based conflict; oil palm plantations.

Introduction

The oil palm plantation industry has demonstrated a heightened level of competitiveness within the context of the global economy, marked by significant export volumes of its products in the forms of oil, and various derivatives (Murphy, 2019). The development of oil palm plantations by both private companies and state-owned enterprises creates new job opportunities. The issues that often arise among oil palm plantation employees, such as employment status and industrial relations, are closely intertwined with the human resource (HR) sector. Human resource is the most crucial sector to address, as skilled workforces within this industry play a pivotal role in enhancing work performance, ultimately leading to increased employee satisfaction and organisational productivity (Pradhan et al., 2019). Human resource improvement that can be performed includes a salary increase, bonus, rewards to employees with the best work performance, and providing various facilities for employees (Zulkarnain et al., 2023b). With the time and energy that have been devoted to the company, it is essential for employees to feel satisfaction in their work life.

Quality of work life (QWL) is identified as the indicator related to the functioning and sustainability of an organisation (Monkevičius, 2014). It is a process where the organisation responds well to the needs of employees by allowing them to make decisions related to their work life (Mortazavi et al., 2012). Quality of work life is associated with job satisfaction and family life, social life, financial and employee well-being (Sirgy et al., 2001). Kannaiah and Sasikumar (2014) found that QWL is a generic phrase that includes employees’ feelings about each dimension of work, including rewards and benefits, work security, organisational conditions, interpersonal relationships and intrinsic meaning of life in practice. The main task in improving the QWL is to create a climate that encourages employee job satisfaction (Jayaraman et al., 2023). Therefore, focus is not only on increasing productivity or decreasing labour costs but also on creating an atmosphere where workers can make decisions about matters that affect them.

The foundation of QWL is work humanisation, which means developing a work environment that guarantees employee dignity in stimulating their skills and development. The QWL can be classified into objective and subjective component (Behzad et al., 2014). The objective component includes suitable work, income, lodging, education, health, service, security and environment. The subjective component includes a diversity of needs, individual perceptions of reality, feelings of safety and comfort (Behzad et al., 2014).

Quality of work life cannot be separated from job security, increased promotion opportunities and participatory working groups. In other words, the QWL focuses on the health and welfare of employees in the workplace (Moghimi et al., 2013). Sinha (2012) explained that several factors affect the QWL, including rewards and benefits. Employees are satisfied if the organisation provides rewards and benefits that align with their expectations. Employees who feel satisfied with the rewards and benefits received will be more motivated to work productively. When rewards and benefits are perceived as equitable, employees are more likely to cultivate trust in their supervisors and the organisation. This adherence to the organisational equity principle in dispensing rewards and benefits is called organisational justice (Hoy & Tarter, 2004).

Farahbod et al. (2013) stated that organisational justice emphasises the principle of equality, whereby employees receive rewards commensurate with their performance, fostering a perception of equity within the organisation. It also highlights superiors’ decisions, the principle of equality and the cultivation of a work environment that individuals within the organisation perceive as equitable. Ndjaboue et al. (2012) added that organisational justice refers to equity in decision-making procedures and the extent to which employees feel that the organisation guarantees their health and well-being.

Moghimi et al. (2013) stated that when employees feel involved in making decisions and feel their welfare is considered due to a fair system in the organisation, employees’ willingness to work would increase so that maximum productivity is achieved. Another study suggests that a high level of organisational justice can reduce employees’ mental illness risk (Elovainio et al., 2002).

Another factor affecting the QWL is family-responsive culture (Sinha, 2012). Posig and Kickul (2004) stated that employees admitted unhappiness about their work as a cause of an imbalance between career and family. The organisation should keep the work and family roles in an equally prominent position so that employees can carry out their functions in the workplace and family equally (Thompson & Prottas, 2006). Conflict occurs when the role demands originating from one domain (work or family) are not following the role demand originating from another area (family or work). Job demands encompass immediate workplace tasks and work-related pressures, while family demands pertain to household responsibilities, child care, spousal communication and financial management (Sinha, 2012). The employee spent more time on filling a role in the family will have sufficient time to meet the demands of a role at work. The more the employee devotes time to work, the more conflict arises between work and family life. Greenhaus and Beutell (1985) addressed this conflict as a work-family conflict.

Some studies found that regardless of the reason for the emergence of work-family conflict, the pressure from the family or workplace can reduce the level of employee welfare, leading to a decrease in the QWL. Family and workplace have the potential to create work-family conflict because employees tend to bring their emotions, ability, skills and attitude in the workplace into family life (Boles et al., 2001).

This study investigates how organisational justice and work-family conflict impact QWL. Furthermore, we examined aspects of organisational justice and the dimension of the work-family conflict as the determinant of QWL. Finally, it provides practical recommendations for oil palm plantation organisations to improve the work environment, reduce work-family conflict and enhance QWL for their officers based on the research findings.

Literature review

Organisational justice and quality of work life

Quality of work life emphasises personal goals, work experience, and how to improve performance to meet individual needs. Walton (1973) argued that QWL is related to employee commitment to the organisation and work environment. The QWL is seen as a strategy in a work environment that supports employee satisfaction to improve the effectiveness of employees and the organisation. It represents a blend of human values in the workplace, coupled with the acknowledgement that each employee invests their life in their work, often at the cost of their time, energy, and physical and mental well-being, impacting the organisation (Rao & Alfred, 2003).

Quality of work life is related to the work health and safety of the employee, employee work hours, an employee’s need to feel justice in the workplace, the decision-making process by superiors towards employees, and the social relation of employees with family and colleagues (Chitakornkijsil, 2010). It is an essential aspect of increasing employee motivation and job satisfaction. For employees, reward and appreciation, including the distribution of compensation, supervision and promotion, will be fair if they follow their contributions to the organisation (Somayyeh et al., 2013). When employees feel that their contributions are appropriately recognised and rewarded, they are more likely to view the organisation as fair and just, which contributes to a sense of organisational justice.

According to Cohen-Charash and Spector (2001), organisational justice is the employees’ feeling towards justice in the organisation that focuses not only on the reward received and decision-making processes occurred but also on good interpersonal relationships and communication between managers and employees. Hjarsbech et al. (2014) stated that organisational justice might reduce employees’ risk of long-term sickness.

Cohen-Charash and Spector (2001) explained three types of organisational justice. These are distributive justice, procedural justice and interactional justice. Employees perceive distributive justice in the results received from organisations, such as compensation or reward. These results can be distributed based on the principle of equality, needs or contributions made in the organisation (Nameda et al., 2023). Employees perceive fairness by comparing the results received with the acceptable results of other employees. The results from the organisation; distributive justice then influences the components of affective, cognitive and behavioural raised by employees at work. Therefore, when the results from the organisation are considered unfair, it will influence employees’ emotions, such as anger, happiness, self-esteem or guilt. Procedural justice is employees’ perceived fairness to the rules and procedures that govern the system within the organisation. It focuses on the fairness of the process followed. In this case, the principles of justice that took place must contain values following the norms of the organisation. Finally, interactional justice is the perceived fairness of employees in social relations and the process of communication that exists in the organisation, where employees feel treated with courtesy, honesty and respect. Therefore, when employees do not think of interactional justice, they will show an adverse reaction to their boss rather than show a response to the overall organisation.

Mahmoudi et al. (2014) explained that employee who was satisfied with their work is contingent upon their perception that the rewards and benefits accorded to them are commensurate and equitable in relation to their individual contributions, particularly when contrasted with the rewards received by their peers. Consequently, such equitable reward structures are conducive to fostering positive work attitudes and ultimately enhancing the overall quality of life for employees. Interactional justice affects employee confidence in their superiors, which is related to improving employee QWL. Moghimi et al. (2013) found that organisational justice would make employees committed and increase their social life aspects in the workplace.

Zapata-Phelan et al. (2009) also suggested that organisational justice in terms of the decision-making process would improve employees’ performance. Employees who feel justice in the organisation are more enthusiastic about working (Kaygusuz & Beduk, 2015). Based on the explanation, the following hypotheses can be stated: H1: Organisational justice is positively correlated to the QWL (H1a). Distributive justice is positively correlated to the QWL (H1b). Procedural justice is positively correlated to the QWL (H1c). Interactional justice is positively correlated to the QWL.

Work-family conflict and quality of work life

The workplace is an integral aspect of an employees’ life and has an impact on his or her life (Zulkarnain et al., 2023a). Quality of work life is related to the organisation’s efforts to provide a good work environment for employees. It will increase employee knowledge and skills in producing effective performance (Chooran & Azadehdel, 2015). Initially, the QWL only focused on employees’ health and psychological well-being in the workplace. However, the focus is now broader because the QWL refers to creating a more effective organisation with quality services and products along with providing stimulus to employees in the form of reward so that they become more motivated to work (Moghimi et al., 2013). Every organisation must provide a suitable environment for employees in terms of financial and non-financial environment so that the organisation can retain employees to keep working for a long time and achieve organisational goals that have been set (Kaur, 2010). In this case, the non-financial environment is related to the life of employees outside the workplace, such as family.

Family life is one of the other aspects that need to be considered by employees, especially those who are married. Amstad et al. (2011) explained that family life satisfaction contributes to work-life happiness, which means that both constructs affect each other. It requires employees to always strive for achievement in their family life to achieve satisfaction at their workplace. When an individual cannot find happiness within their family, achieving joy in their work becomes elusive, indicating an imbalance between family life and work. The inequality that occurs between family and work is called work-family conflict (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985). Zulkarnain et al. (2015) stated that work-family conflict occurs because of the role demand originating from one domain (work or family) that did not happen following the role demand arising from another area (family or work).

Grandey et al. (2005) stated that the work-family conflict can spend time and energy that leads to the emergence of feeling threatened on the job. Work-family conflict is a conflict between the roles, in which the difficulties encountered, the limited time availability and tension experienced by the work responsibility overlap with responsibilities in the family.

Adekola (2010) divided the work-family conflict into work interference with family and family interference with work. Work interference with the family occurs when the activities disturb the work of individual responsibility within the family. For example, individuals took homework and tried to solve them at the expense of family time. Effects of mood and stress experienced in the work environment also make people not focus on completing the demands of their role in the family environment. Besides, career growth in the job would cause the individual to increase their commitment to meeting the demands of the job so that the family demands are not met optimally. Family interference with work occurs when roles and responsibilities in the family interfere with work activity. Besides, it is mentioned that gender difference also affects the appearance of family conflict (Major et al., 2002).

Greenhaus and Beutell (1985) explained that there are three dimensions of work-family conflict: time-based conflict, strain-based conflict and behaviour-based conflict. Time-based conflict occurs when the time available to fulfil a role at work cannot be used to meet the requirements in the family. They are capable of performing only one task at a time. For instance, long and inflexible work hours and overtime give individuals less time to meet their family requirement completely. The strain-based conflict caused by one role makes it difficult for employees to fulfil the requirements of their other tasks. For example, after working for long hours in the organisation employees feeling tired and stressed to do some work at home. This conflict may lead to increased blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, irritability and depression. Behaviour-based conflict emerges when the behavioural patterns associated with one role deviate from the expected expressions. Employees who cannot adjust their behaviour to different roles will experience conflict between them (Zulkarnain et al., 2015, 2023b).

According to O’Driscoll et al. (2006), there are some consequences of work-family conflict, absence and withdrawal behaviours, job and marital dissatisfaction, psychological stress, weight loss, insomnia, headache and heart disease. Benjamin (2015) stated that the inability of employees to balance work and family life could cause stress and health problems, so the quality of life of working employees is low. Conversely, employees who can reduce work-family conflict will have a good QWL. Balancing work and family life can affect the QWL (Nkulenu, 2015). Thus, support from the family is needed to resolve conflicts arising in work and family life. Pressure arising as the source of work-family conflict can further reduce the psychological well-being of employees in the workplace rather than the psychological well-being of the family. Autonomy and social relationships with co-workers may reduce work-family conflict and improve the employee’s QWL (King, 2005).

Byron (2005) stated that conflict in the family causes employees to be less concentrated in the workplace. Choochom and Pattamacharoen (2012) found that work-family conflict negatively influences marital and parental quality. Mohan and Suppareakchaisakul (2014) stated that work-family conflict impacts employees’ well-being at the workplace and leads to decreased quality of life at work. Allen et al. (2006) found that work-family conflict affected aspects of employee life such as work, non-work and health. The work aspects include job satisfaction, employee commitment, work performance, attendance, success and turnover intention; non-work aspects include marriage, family, leisure and life satisfaction. Health aspects include depression, physical health and psychological tension. It can be hypothesised that: H2: Work-family conflict is negatively correlated to the QWL (H2a). Time-based conflict is negatively correlated to the QWL (H2b). Strain-based conflict is negatively correlated to the QWL (H2c). Behavioural conflict is negatively correlated to the QWL.

Method

Participant

The population comprised oil palm plantation officers. Questionnaires were distributed to 600 employees. After checking the completeness of filling out the survey, 508 employees duly completed the survey and formed part of the sample. Therefore, the response rate in this research was 84.67%. Most of the participants were male (76.57%). Participants’ ages ranged from 41 years to 60 years (56.69%). The majority of participants (60.71%) had completed their undergraduate degrees. More than half of the participants worked for up to 10 years (70, 87%), and 53.21% had between one and three children.

Measurement

The research employed a structured questionnaire as a data collection tool to assess organisational justice, QWL and work-family conflict. The organisational justice scale is based on the types of organisational justice by Cohen-Charash and Spector (2001). These are distributive justice, procedural justice and interactional justice. The result of the factor analysis is depicted in Table 1. The alpha coefficient of reliability is 0.944.

TABLE 1: Factor analysis of organisational justice scale.

The QWL scale was compiled based on the following aspects of QWL proposed by Walton (1973): adequate and fair compensation, safe and healthy working conditions, immediate opportunity to use and develop human capacities, an opportunity for continued growth and security, social integration at work, constitutionalism in the organisation of work, work and total living space, and social relevance of work life. Factor analysis is shown in Table 2, and the alpha coefficient of reliability is 0.94.

TABLE 2: Factor analysis of quality of work life.

The work-family conflict scale was compiled based on the work-family conflict dimensions (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985). The dimensions are time-based conflict, strain-based conflict and behaviour-based conflict. The result of the factor analysis is shown in Table 3. Based on factor analysis, the alpha coefficient of reliability is 0.956.

TABLE 3: Factor analysis of work-family conflict scale.
Data analysis and results

The Pearson correlation analysis showed that organisational justice and work-family conflict significantly correlated with work engagement. Statistical analysis showed that distributive, procedural and interactional justice positively and significantly correlated with the QWL. Meanwhile, time-based conflict, strain-based conflict and behaviour-based conflict negatively correlated significantly with QWL. The result is depicted in Table 4.

TABLE 4: Correlation among variables.

The hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to find out the determinant of QWL based on organisational justice. Step 1 showed that procedural justice positively influenced the QWL. In step 2, interactional justice and distributive justice positively affected the QWL. In step 3, interactional, distributive and procedural justice positively influenced the QWL. Interactional justice is the best predictor of QWL. The result is seen in Table 5.

TABLE 5: Hierarchical regression analysis based on organisational justice.

Meanwhile, the hierarchical regression analysis showed that dimensions of work-family conflict negatively influenced the QWL. Step 1 showed that time-based conflict negatively influenced the QWL. In step 2, time-based conflict and strain-based conflict negatively influenced the QWL. In step 3, time-based conflict, strain-based conflict and behaviour-based conflict negatively influenced the QWL. The time-based conflict is the best predictor of QWL. The result is seen in Table 6.

TABLE 6: Hierarchical regression analysis based on work-family conflict.

Discussion

The main results indicated that organisational justice positively and significantly influenced the QWL. The oil palm plantation organisation must create and implement a fair system, both in payroll, reward and career opportunities, to increase an employee’s QWL. Sinha (2012) stated that rewards and benefits are an appreciation for employees who have contributed to the organisation’s progress. When employees perceive that appreciation offered by organisations aligns with their expectations and contributions in the workplace, it fosters satisfaction and enhances the overall quality of work life.

Quality of work life is related to the interaction between the work environment and employees’ personal needs and guarantees fulfilment of employees’ rights (Sinha, 2012). Every employee is provided with equal opportunities to secure rights as a reciprocal arrangement for the contributions they have made to the organisation, thereby fostering a sense of justice. Yaghoubi et al. (2012) explained that organisational justice focuses on how employees feel that they are treated equally with other employees. Employees with a higher QWL are more likely to actively participate in decision-making processes related to their work (Suresh, 2012). Involving employees in the decision-making process is a form of organisational effort to uphold justice for employees.

This study found that interactional, distributive and procedural justice significantly influenced the QWL. The result is in line with Cohen-Charash and Spector (2001). They stated that interactional justice is regarding a social relationship. Employees are likely to be healthy, active and motivated at work if they are treated with courtesy, honesty and respect. Treadway et al. (2013) explained that the treatment of superiors influences employee performance in the workplace. Interactional justice can minimise employee stress and create positive relationships between employees and the work environment (Alrousan & Ahmad, 2015).

Cohen-Charash and Spector (2001) opined that distributive justice, such as compensation and promotion, affects employees’ cognition and behaviour. Behzad et al. (2014) explained that compensation and income received by employees are components of the QWL of employees. Fair compensation is one aspect of driving quality of life. Thus, distributive justice will increase the QWL.

The procedural justice framework recognises the need for transparency, consistency and inclusivity in decision-making processes related to employee compensation and benefits. When these processes adhere to ethical principles and are perceived as equitable and unbiased, it fosters a sense of trust and confidence among employees. Consequently, this can lead to greater organisational cohesion, higher levels of employee morale and a more harmonious workplace environment. Mahmoudi et al. (2014) explained that in procedural justice, every employee is permitted to express their opinions as a form of participation in the decision-making process in the organisation. Employee involvement in expressing their views is a form of reciprocal communication between the organisation and employees. Enhancing the quality of communication through active employee participation is a strategy through which organisations can elevate the overall quality of work life (Sinha, 2012).

This study also found that work-family conflict significantly and negatively influenced the QWL. Benjamin (2015) stated that the inability of employees to balance work and family life could cause stress and health problems. Sinha (2012) explained that family-responsive culture influenced the QWL. For married employees, the concept of role demand extends beyond the boundaries of the workplace to encompass not only their professional responsibilities but also the multifaceted demands and commitments associated with their family life. This dual set of obligations often creates a complex interplay between the roles of an employee and those of a spouse or parent. Balancing the demands of work and family can be a significant challenge, as individuals must effectively manage their time, energy and attention to fulfil their roles in both domains. Therefore, every organisation should put the work and family roles in an equally prominent position so that employees can carry out their functions in the workplace and family alike. The existence of social support from the organisation to meet the role demands of employees in work and family can prevent employees from work-family conflict (Carlson & Perrewe, 1999). Social relation with co-workers in the organisation is one of the alternatives to reduce work-family conflict, which can then improve the QWL (King, 2005).

This study showed that time-based conflict, strain-based conflict and behaviour-based conflict significantly and negatively influenced QWL. The time-based conflict occurs when an individual’s available time is limited in such a way that they are unable to effectively meet the demands of multiple roles in their life. In the context of the workplace, this often manifests as a conflict between work and family responsibilities. One common trigger for such work-family conflict is the imposition of long working hours by an organisation. When employees are required to work extended hours, it reduces the time and energy they can allocate to their family life, especially for married employees who have additional familial responsibilities. Long working hours can strain the delicate balance between work and family, making it challenging for employees to be fully present and engaged in both spheres. The limited quality time with their spouse and children leads to strained relationships and reduced family satisfaction. The inability to allocate time and energy to family matters can contribute to a diminished QWL. To mitigate these negative effects, it is imperative that organisations recognise the importance of enabling employees to manage their time flexibly, ensuring they can fulfil their work responsibilities, while also dedicating sufficient time and attention to their family life (King, 2005).

The strain-based conflict emerges when one role an individual occupies jeopardises their ability to perform effectively in another role they hold. In practical terms, this means that excessive workload can create a situation in which employees become overly preoccupied with their work responsibilities, diverting their attention from family responsibilities and commitments. Conversely, excessive involvement in family can result in exhaustion, consequently making it more difficult for individuals to fulfill the demands of their work roles. Fatigue resulting from the strain of balancing the demands of work and family life can have detrimental effects on employees’ QWL (Geetha et al., 2010). Therefore, it is important to find a harmonious balance between work and family commitments. Organisations should consider measures to prevent excessive workloads, which can lead to strain-based conflict, and individuals should also take steps to manage their family responsibilities effectively, thereby avoiding exhaustion and its negative impact on their work performance and QWL. Achieving this balance is essential for both the personal well-being of employees and the success of the organisations they work for.

The behaviour-based conflict manifests when an individual’s behaviour patterns and actions in one role do not align with the expectations of the other role. For example, the context in a professional setting often requires employees to exhibit firmness and an assertive approach, which may not correspond with the warmth and empathy typically expected in a family environment. This incongruence between role expectations in the workplace and the family creates a scenario where an individual’s behaviour in one role may not be well-received or compatible with the demands of the other role (Zulkarnain et al., 2015). To address this conflict, it is essential to revaluate and adapt the expectations associated with these roles in both work and family environments. Recognising that individuals can and should exhibit flexibility and adaptability in their behaviour to meet the demands of both domains is a crucial step towards reducing behaviour-based conflict. The fulfilment of role demands in one sphere should not necessarily lead to a decrease in meeting requirements in the other. Instead, a more holistic approach allowing individuals to navigate their professional and family roles with greater flexibility and congruence can help enhance their overall well-being and reduce the tension associated with behaviour-based conflict. When employees experience well-being in their work environment, it can positively impact various aspects of organisational health and, in turn, contribute to the enhancement of QWL (Bahrami, 2015).

Limitations and implications for further research

This study was a cross-sectional design, which captured data at a single point in time. Future research could benefit from longitudinal designs to establish causal relationships and better understand how organisational justice and work-family conflict changes influence QWL over time. The study focused on a specific sample or population (e.g. oil palm plantation officers). As such, the generalisability of the findings to other industries or settings may be limited. Future research should aim to replicate these findings in diverse occupational contexts.

Future research could explore the effectiveness of interventions designed to increase organisational justice and reduce work-family conflict. This may involve implementing organisational policies or programmes to improve these factors and assessing their impact on QWL. In addition, conduct comparative studies across industries, sectors and regions to determine whether the significance of QWL predictors varies. This can provide a deeper understanding of the relationships between organisational justice, work-family conflict and QWL in diverse contexts.

Conclusion

Quality of work life is a pressing concern that warrants the oil palm plantation organisation’s attention, as it has the potential to boost employee engagement and productivity within the organisation. Past research has shown that the QWL has a positive and significant impact on the company’s performance. Quality of work life also fosters the desire of employees to remain in the organisation. The QWL trying to meet the perceived needs is essential for employees to provide fair treatment, fair and support; provide an opportunity for every employee to use the full capabilities. Employees will regard their work means when independence and freedom of choice are allowed in the performance of their duties. Participation in decision-making will increase employee contributions to the organisation. The emergence of work-family conflict will reduce employee job satisfaction, and ultimately, the QWL will decrease. Employees who experience work-family conflict will tend to break away from their involvement with the organisation. Job satisfaction plays a vital role in the organisation so that work-family conflict is minimised as much as possible because it can bring a bad reputation to the organisation. This study also showed that organisational justice would improve the QWL of employees. Impact of organisational justice on employee performance is evident when employees perceive that their remuneration aligns with their contributions to the organisation. Meeting the criteria of justice within an organisational context is linked to a reduction in counterproductive behaviour and withdrawal among employees, thereby fostering a climate in which individuals exhibit positive attitudes and a heightened level of confidence in the organisation.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the management and employees of the oil palm plantations for their invaluable contributions to this research. Additionally, we would like to express our appreciation to the faculty of psychology, USU, for their support in conducting this study.

Competing interests

The authors have declared that no competing interest exists. All co-authors have seen and agree with the contents of the manuscript and there is no financial interest to report. The authors certify that the submission is original work and is not under review at any other publication.

Authors’ contributions

Z.Z. conducted the research, authored the article, revised it and submitted the article. E.D.J.G. created the theoretical framework and conceptualised the main research idea. A.A.A. planned the study and oversaw its progress. M.M.S. anchored the review, revisions.

Ethical considerations

The research project titled ‘Organizational Justice and Work-Family Conflict: Impact to Quality of Work Life among Oil Palm Plantation Officers’ has been reviewed and approved by the Faculty of Psychology University of Sumatera Utara Ethics Committee. Your commitment to upholding ethical standards and protecting the rights and welfare of research participants is commendable.

The Ethics Committee carefully reviewed your research proposal and found that it meets the necessary ethical considerations outlined in our guidelines. We have taken into account the details provided in your application, including the research objectives, participant safeguards, informed consent process, data protection measures and adherence to relevant ethical regulations.

Based on our evaluation, we hereby grant you ethical clearance to proceed with your research project as outlined in your application (Number 19/Komet/FPsi/2022).

Funding information

This research project was conducted without the receipt of any external grants or funding. The authors declare that they have independently funded this study.

Data availability

The authors confirm that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and are the product of professional research. It does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated institution, funder, agency or that of the publisher. The authors are responsible for this article’s results, findings and content.

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