Organizational Parasites: Are Our Efforts Equal?

Organizational Parasites: Are Our Efforts Equal?

Selcen Seda Turksoy (Ege Universtiy, Turkey) and Ozkan Tutuncu (Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9996-8.ch011
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The efficient work of the employees is important for the adaptation of the business to the rapidly changing environmental conditions. Businesses should identify the factors that affect employee productivity and emerging threats because the efficient level of performance and the measurability of this output lead to rational use of the resources. Employees who do not fulfill their duties and responsibilities in the organization and take a share from the group product may lead to deviations in reaching the targets set by the organization. Justice in the organization, trust, the deterioration in the values may adversely affect the process. The existence of such employees is the indicator of parasitic relations in organizations. In literature, the number of applied studies is limited. The strength of the study is to provide a detailed evaluation and measurement tool in the subject of parasitism in organizations. The scale of parasitism was developed with self-directed and community-directed dimensions consisting of 20 statements and was validated by EFA, CFA, and reliability analysis.
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The recruitment of talented employees who will make a difference in the organization is necessary in terms of performance-related profitability and sustainability in organizations. This positive process positively affects not only individual but also other team members performance. Dedicated employees can increase team performance by spreading their commitment as a result of a collaborative effort (Bakker, Albrecht, and Leiter, 2012). Unfortunately, it is not always possible to work with employees who are always dedicated to work. Some employees do not endeavor within the group, they focus on the negative or violate interpersonal norms. Such behavior may result in some psychological states (eg inequality perceptions, negative emotions, declining trust) in their teammates, and subsequently lead to behavioral defense responses (eg, explosion, mood retention, withdrawal). This negatively affects group processes and dynamics (eg collaboration, creativity) (Felp, Mitchell, and Byington, 2006). However, this is undesirable for businesses because dedicated employees and their efficiency are of great importance for business success.

The researchers maintain that if the organization is healthy, it works regularly and provides the products and services efficiently (Şener and Erdem, 2011). In the contrary case, the workers will underperform in the sight of the organization's productive and regular process.

In literature, some workers' underperformance can emerge in different ways. These can be listed as follows: the workers' not making any or enough effort on their duties and responsibilities, shirking, neglecting work, social loafing and free riding. While shirking and neglecting work behaviors are associated with the performance of the individual; social loafing and free riding behaviors are linked with performance within a group and are identified as endeavoring less and gain advantage with no contributing to the cost of group output in an fairway (Bennett and Naumann, 2005).

One of the factors preventing organizations from to be healthy and the production to continue in an efficient and productive way is the parasitic relationships within the organizations. Literally a parasite is a plant or an animal that lives on or inside another plant or animal and damaging it by either living temporarily or permanently (Turkish Language Association (TDK), 2016). In today's organizations, the term parasite can be defined as benefitting from the productivity of the other workers by managing to stay within the organization's body although his/her own abilities and competences do not completely match with the position he/she works at. In organizations, parasitic relationship emerges despite the fact that it gains favor at the cost of the harm of the individual or the individuals. Organizational parasite can be described as the person who gains advantage as support, benefit or as the same kind from some other or others without responding in a favorable way to a policy (Hicks and Gullet, 1981). The term is scrutinized with experimental games (Kelley and Grzelak, 1972; Dawes, McTavish, and Shaklee, 1977) and market operation simulations (Marvel and Ames, 1981); and is discussed with activity-based experiments in the studies analyzing the differences between the group and individual productivity (Ingham, Levinger, Graves, Peckham, 1974 and Latané, Williams, and Harkins, 1979). He (2012) and Kidwell and Robie (2003) tried to measure the parasitic behavior. In literature, in the scale of organizational deviation by Robinson and Bennett (1995), the phenomenon was partly appeared in terms of production deviation (slowdown business and working performance such as the violation of organizational rules) and political deviation (nepotism) dimensions. There is no direct study about the parasitism. With the scale developed, the parasitism in organizations has been reinterpreted in today's modern operating conditions. In order to cope with parasitic relationships, co-workers have to undertake a number of additional job demands both physiologically and psychologically. Considering that the developments in the workplace now make it difficult for managers to manage the performance of their employees (Buchner, 2007), determining the existence of such relations within the enterprise with this scale will ease to take the necessary measures.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Group Work: A group of employees working with coordination in line with business objectives.

Performance: Achievement and success in business management.

Motivation: The process of behaving with the individual's own will to realize a particular purpose.

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