Inclusion and employee engagement of nonfamily employees in family firms: moderating influence of procedural justice

Mohammad Rezaur Razzak*, Golam Mostafa Khan, Salem AlAbri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study investigates the influence of inclusion of nonfamily employees in family firms on their intellectual, social and affective engagement at the workplace. Furthermore, the framework proposed in the study considers the possible moderating influence of procedural justice in the above relationships. Design/methodology/approach: A conceptual framework is developed with the support of the self-determination theory (SDT) and the social exchange theory. The study tests a set of hypotheses using survey data from 654 nonfamily employees working in private family firms in Malaysia. Findings: The results reveal that inclusion has a positive and significant relationship with intellectual, social and affective engagement. While procedural justice moderates the association between inclusion and intellectual and affective engagement, it does not moderate the relationship between inclusion and social engagement. Research limitations/implications: The outcome of this study presents a nuanced understanding on how perceptions of inclusion of nonfamily employees by the dominant work group (DWG) (i.e. employees related to the firm owners) lead to positive firm-centric behavior among nonfamily employees. Practical implications: The study provides clues to family firm managers for creating a work environment where nonfamily employees perceive a sense of belongingness while their uniqueness is appreciated in order to be more engaged at the workplace. Social implications: Little is known about how diversity created within family firms by inclusion of nonfamily employees impacts organizations. The outcome of this study may reinforce the positive effects of inclusiveness in any social context. Originality/value: Diversity researchers have studied the influence of inclusion in areas related to sociology and psychology. However, there appears to be a dearth of studies in terms of how nonfamily employees would behave in family firms when they perceive a sense of inclusion in an organization dominated by employees who are related to the owners of the firm. Hence, this study appears to shed new light on how inclusion of nonfamily employees in family firms influences their behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-728
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Family Business Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2022


  • Affective engagement
  • Employee engagement
  • Inclusion
  • Intellectual engagement
  • Procedural justice
  • Social engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management


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