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Organizational Psychology:
A Scientist-Practitioner Approach
Jex, S. M., & Britt, T. W. (2014)
Prepared by:
Christopher J. L. Cunningham, PhD
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Kelsey-Jo Ritter
Bowling Green State University
Kristen S. Jennings
Clemson University
Chapter 6: Counterproductive
Behavior in Organizations
Defining Counterproductive Behavior
• Any behavior that goes against an
organization’s goals
• Many behaviors can fit in this category
• Few specific counterproductive work
behaviors (CWBs) have been studied in
Structure of CWB
• Bennett and Robinson’s Two-Factor
– Organizational and individual CWB
• Spector’s Five-Factor Model
– Production deviance
– Sabotage
– Theft
– Withdrawal
Structure of CWB (Cont.)
• Gruys and Sackett’s 11-Factor Model
• Comment 6.1: Edward Snowden
Causes of CWB
• Person factors
– Traits
• Situation factors
– Norms
– Injustice
– Figure 6.1: Stressor-Emotion Model
Common Forms of CWB:
Employee Absenteeism
• More to this than simply a consequence of
negative work attitudes
• Complex to study
– Excused versus unexcused
– Reasons for absence
– Time frame of absence
• Common indicators include time lost and
frequency metrics
Common Forms of CWB:
Predictors of Absenteeism
• Consistent but weak link between affect and
• Other predictors include:
– Ability and desire to attend
– Gender
– Organization’s absence control policies and
absence culture
• Some evidence that cultural differences may be seen
in terms of reasons for absence and the power of
absence culture or norms within an organization
(Comment 6.2)
Reducing Absenteeism
• Institute fair absence control policies to
discourage unnecessary absence
• Foster a “positive absence culture” in the
organization and at the work group level
• Help employees overcome barriers to
Common Forms of CWB
Abuse of Other
• A range of behaviors from rudeness to
• Incivility
• Abusive supervision
• Social undermining
Low Base Rate CWB:
Production Deviance/Sabotage
• Deliberate wasting of time or poor job
• Opportunity for CWB (Comment 6.4)
• Impression management
Employee Theft
• Ranges in intensity and frequency
• Seems to be linked to individual
characteristics and unfair or frustrating
work conditions
• Moderating role of locus of control
–Figure 6.2
Workplace Violence and
• Violence is infrequent, but can be severe
• Violence studied as outgrowth of factors in the
physical and organizational environment, and
individual characteristics
• Mistreatment can be varied and appears to lead to
depression, anxiety, and decreased job satisfaction
among other employees
• Causes of mistreatment are not well understood, but
individual characteristics and organizational
treatment seem to play a role
Substance Use
• Illegal drug use is limited, but alcohol and overthe-counter (OTC) drugs are more prevalent
• Problem because of absenteeism and
counterproductive behaviors
• Personality (reliability) and other personal
characteristics (background) have been studied
as predictors of substance use
• Stressful job conditions and social norms at work
may also contribute
• Drug testing (Comment 6.5)
Sexual Harassment
• Two main legal forms
• Difficult to identify and study
• Preventing sexual harassment:
– Clear communication of what is and is not
considered acceptable behavior
– Statement of consequences for violating
organizational norms/policies
– Comment 6.6: Sexual harassment