The Role of Interactional Justice in Academic Advising


  • Erin Froman University of North Alabama
  • Karly Cochran University of North Alabama



interactional justice, academic advising, student satisfaction, intent to persist


This study merges literature on supervisor-employee relationships and adviser-student relationships to examine interactional justice as a common feature of high-quality advising. We conducted a survey of 396 undergraduate students at a regional university in the United States and developed a new measure of interactional justice in advising that predicted two indicators of student success: college students’ intent to persist to graduation and their satisfaction with advising. Interactional justice explained 15% of variability in students’ intent to persist and 44% of variability in students’ satisfaction with advising. Interactional justice also accounted for positive associations between intent to persist and incidence of developmental as well as prescriptive advising (B = .84 and .37). Additionally, interactional justice explained positive associations between these significantly different advising styles and students’ satisfaction, reducing the shared variance between satisfaction and developmental advising from 53% to 8%—and reducing the shared variance between satisfaction and prescriptive advising from 13% to 0.00%. We propose the concept of justified advising and discuss ways interactional justice can be incorporated into a variety of different advising styles.


Allen, J. M., & Smith, C. L. (2008). Faculty and student perspectives on advising: Implications for student dissatisfaction. Journal of College Student Development, 49(6), 609¬¬–624.

Almansour, Y. (2012). The mediating role of organizational justice components in the relationship between leadership styles and job satisfaction. Global Journal of Management and Business Research, 12(20), 74–80.

Appleby, D. (2001). The teaching-advising connection. The Mentor: An Academic Advising Journal, 3.

Barling, J., & Phillips, M. (1993). Interactional, formal, and distributive justice in the workplace: An exploratory study. Journal of Psychology, 127, 649–656.

Baron, R. (1990) Countering the effects of destructive criticism: The relative efficacy of four interventions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75(3), 235–245. 10.1037/0021-9010.75.3.235

Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.

Belkin, D. (2021, Sep 07). 'I just feel lost.' young men abandon college --- the higher education gap between men and women hits record levels. Wall Street Journal.

Bies, R. J., and Moag, J. F. (1986) Interactional justice: Communication criteria of fairness. In R. J. Lewicki, B. H. Sheppared, & M. H. Bazerman (Eds.), Research on negotiation in organizations (pp. 43–55). JAI Press.

Bies, R. (2015). Interactional justice: Looking backward and looking forward. In R. S. Cropanzano & M. L. Ambrose (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of justice in the workplace. (pp. 89–107). Oxford University Press.

Bloom, J. L, Hutson, B. L., & He, Y. (2008). The appreciative advising revolution. Stipes.

Bloland, P., Stamatakos, L., & Rogers, R. (1994). Reform in student affairs: A critique of student development. University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Broadbridge, A. (1996). Academic advising—traditional or developmental approaches?: Student perspectives. British Journal of Guidance & Counseling, 24(1), 97–111.

Brown, G. (2017, June 27). 100 questions you can use for intentional conversations in the residence halls. Paul Gordon Brown.

Chory, R. (2007). Enhancing student perceptions of fairness: The relationship between instructor credibility and classroom justice. Communication Education, 56(1), 89–105.

Chory-Assad, R., & Paulsel, M. (2004). Classroom justice: Student aggression and resistance as reactions to perceived unfairness. Communication Education, 53(3), 253–273.

Coll, J., & Draves, P. (2009). Traditional age students: Worldviews and satisfaction with advising; A homogeneous study of student and advisors. College Student Affairs Journal, 27(2), 215–223.

Crockett, J. B., & Crawford, R. L. (1989). The relationship between Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Scale scores and advising style preferences of college freshmen. Journal of College Student Development, 30(2), 154–161.

Crookston, B. B. (1972). A developmental view of academic advising as teaching. Journal of College Student Personnel, 13(1), 12–17.

Drake, J. (2011). The role of academic advising in student retention and persistence. About Campus, 16(3), 8–12.

Drake, J. (2013). Advising as teaching and the adviser as teacher in theory and in practice. In Drake, J., Jordan, P., & Miller, M. Academic Advising Approaches: Strategies that teach students to make the most of college. (pp. 17–32). Jossey-Bass.

Drake, J., Jordan, P., & Miller, M. (2013) Academic advising approaches: Strategies that teach students to make the most of college. Jossey-Bass.

Fielstein, L. L. (1989). Student priorities for academic advising: Do they want a personal relationship? NACADA Journal, 9(1), 33–38.

Fielstein, L. L., Scoles, M. T., & Webb, K. J. (1992). Differences in traditional and nontraditional students’ preferences for advising services and perceptions of services received. NACADA Journal, 12(2), 5–12.

Glennen, R. E. (1975). Intrusive college counseling, College Student Journal, 9(1), 2–4.

Greenberg, J. (1993). The social side of fairness: Interpersonal and informational classes of organizational justice. In R. Cropanzano (Ed.), Justice in the workplace: Approaching fairness in human resource management (pp. 79–103). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Grites, T., & Gordon, V. N. (2000). Developmental academic advising revisited. NACADA Journal, 20, 119–122.

Hagen, P., & Jordan, P. (2008). Theoretical foundations of academic advising. In V. N. Gordon, W. R. Habley, & T. J. Grites (Eds.), Academic advising: A comprehensive handbook (2nd ed., pp. 17–35). Jossey-Bass.

Hayes, A. F. (2013). Process for SPSS and SAS Model 4.

Hemwall, M. K., & Trachte, K. C. (1999). Learning at the core: Toward a new understanding of academic advising. NACADA Journal, 19, 113–118.

Hess, A. (2017, October 10). Bill Gates: US College Drop Out Rates are ‘tragic.’ CNBC.

Hutson, B. L. (2010). The impact of an appreciative advising-based university studies course on college student first-year experience. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 2(1), 3–13.

Kamphoff, C. S., Hutson, B. L., Amundsen, S. A., & Atwood, J. A. (2007). A motivational/ empowerment model applied to students on academic probation. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, and Practice, 8(4) 397–412.

Keup, J. R., & Stolzenberg, E. B. (2004). The 2003 your first college year (YFCY) survey: Exploring the academic and personal experiences of first-year students. University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experiences and Students in Transition.

Kimball, E., & Campbell, S. (2013). Advising strategies to support student learning success: Linking theory and philosophy with intentional practice. In J. K. Drake, P. Jordan, & M. A. Miller (Eds.), Academic advising approaches: Strategies that teach students to make the most of college (pp. 3–16). Jossey-Bass.

Kuhn, T. (2008). Historical foundations of academic advising. In V. N. Gordon, W. R. Habley, & T. J. Grites (Eds.), Academic advising: A comprehensive handbook (2nd ed., pp. 3–16). Jossey-Bass.

Laschinger, H. (2004). Hospital nurses’ perceptions of respect and organizational justice. Journal of Nursing Administration, 34(7/8), 354–364.

Mottarella, K., Fritzsche, B., & Cerabino, K. (2004). What do students want in advising? A policy capturing study. NACADA Journal, 24(1/2), 48–61.

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2013, July 9). Advising and retention [course lecture]. Kansas State University.

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2017a). NACADA academic advising core competencies model.

NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. (2017b). NACADA core values of academic advising. Retrieved from

Noel, L. (1976). College student retention: A campus wide responsibility. Journal of the National Association of College Admission Counselors, 21(1), 33–36.

Reynolds, M. (2013). Learning-centered advising. In Drake, J., Jordan, P., & Miller, M. (Eds.), Academic advising approaches: Strategies that teach students to make the most of college (pp. 33–44). Jossey-Bass.

Schreiner, L. (2004). Affirming students’ strengths: A campus-wide approach to student success and retention (Report to the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education P116B00306). U.S. Department of Education.

Seidman, A. (2005). Where we go from here: A retention formula for student success. In A. Seidman (Ed.), College student retention: Formula for Student Success (pp. 295–316). Prager Publishers.

U.S. Census Bureau (2018, December 11). More than 76 Million Students Enrolled in U.S. Schools, Census Bureau Reports.

Teasley, M., & Buchanan, E. (2013). Capturing the student perspective: A new instrument for measuring advising satisfaction. NACADA Journal, 33(2), 4–15.

Tinto, V. (2006). Research and practice of college student retention: What next? Journal of College Student Retention, 8(1), 1–19.

Tinto, V. (2012). Completing college: Rethinking institutional action. The University of Chicago Press.

Tinto, V. (2017). Through the eyes of students. Journal of College Student Retention, 19(3), 254–269.

Trinkner, R. (2014). Procedural justice and the advisor-advisee relationship in graduate education. Journal of Online Doctoral Education, 1(1), 23–40.

Usmani, S., & Jamal, S. (2013). Impact of distributive justice, procedural justice, interactional justice, temporal justice, spatial justice, and job satisfaction of banking employees. Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research, 2(1), 351–383.

Varney, J. (2013). Proactive advising. In J. Drake, P. Jordan, & M. Miller (Eds.), Academic advising approaches: Strategies that teach students to make the most of college (pp. 137–154). Jossey-Bass.

Winston, R. B., & Sandor, J. A. (1984). Developmental academic advising: What do students want? NACADA Journal, 4(1), 5–13.

Yarbrough, E. (2010). An examination of academic advising style preference in undergraduate students (Publication No. 3430631) [Doctoral Dissertation, Auburn University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

Zoghbi Manrique de Lara, P. (2008). Fairness, teachers' non-task behavior and alumni satisfaction. Journal of Educational Administration, 46(4), 514–538.