Workplace Deviance: A Conceptual Framework

Workplace Deviance: A Conceptual Framework

Yuvika Singh (Punjabi University Patiala, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9996-8.ch001
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Deviant workplace behavior has become a most costly phenomenon as it includes a wide range of negative acts performed by the employees to harm the organization and its members. The workplace is a forum where employees are seen behaving in different productive manners in order to achieve a common goal. As people spend a lot of time interacting with each other at the workplace, some of the employee behaviors are unpredictable. That is why managing the behavior of employees is a major concern of authorities. Thus, the organizations wish to have employees who do not bring harm to the workplace but instead carry out tasks, duties, and responsibilities of their position. Such behavior that causes harm to the organization is undesirable and is considered to be deviant. This chapter will focus upon the conceptual framework of the deviant behavior at the workplace by discussing the constructive and destructive workplace behavior, antecedents of negative deviant behavior, and which factors trigger deviant behavior.
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What Is Meant By Workplace Deviance?

Different researchers call the different deviant behaviors by different names and phrases. Bennett and Robinson (1995); Appelbaum et al. (2007); Agwa (2018) named such behavior as ‘Workplace deviance’, Salgado (2002) and Bruursema et al. (2011) used the term- ‘counterproductive behavior’, Baucus and Near (1991) considered it as an ‘Illegal corporate behavior’, Sims (1992) called it a ‘Challenge to ethical behavior’, Robinson & Greenberg (1998) related such behavior to the ‘Bad behavior’ within organization while, Edwards and Greenberg (2011) termed it as ‘Insidious workplace behavior’.

According to Aquino et al. (1999) one category of deviance is interpersonal deviance, which includes number of activities that can harm specific individuals through verbal attacks or verbal assault. Another category is organizational deviance which includes the number of activities that may go against a company or its system through theft, causing harm to the property or creating sabotages. Neuman and Baron (2005) discussed that the two concepts namely workplace deviance and workplace aggression are quite similar but still they are different in much ways. Edwards and Greenberg (2011) defined insidious workplace behavior as a harmful workplace behavior which is intentional in nature, legal, subtle, repetitive in nature and not severe. It is a particular form of variety of behaviors of workplace deviance. When the acts are performed to bring harm then it is known as intentionally harmful behavior, when the acts do not break any rules or laws then it is a legal act, when the acts are unnoticed or incidental in nature then they are not severe in nature, when a single act is repeated again and again over time then it is repetitive while when the target or victim of harm is another person or organization then it is known as individually targeted act. Wu et al. (2012) found a connection between workplace ostracism and the various other factors such as job stress, emotional fatigue and mood at work. According to Ahmad and Omar (2014), in order to survive in the cut throat competition and the dynamic environment, it is not only necessary to earn profits but also goodwill in the market. Thus, there is lot of pressure over the employees and much more is expected from them by an organization. Which makes the situation worst and which in turn results in anxiety, stress, poor performance, work life imbalance and health issues, which may further lead to dissatisfaction from job. So, it can be said that job satisfaction and engagement not only depend on the monetary benefits but much more than that. Deviant workplace behaviors are also connected to the norms and values within an organization as culture have become an important part. If an organization fails to solve the internal problems such as ethical issues, workplace culture, and workplace spirituality, then deviant behaviors may occur. According to Bennet and Marasi (2016), workplace deviance refers to as the employee deviance or counter-productive behaviors at workplace, or some antisocial work behaviors which impacts almost all the organizations. According to Novalien (2017), workplace deviance in the government organizations can lead to public mistrust, loss of resources and failure in achieving the targets that have been set by the government which may directly or indirectly impact the national economy. The main reason for such type of behavior is that employees lose their loyalty and commitment. According to Narayanan and Murphy (2017) have researched that in many countries like Japan, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia a lot of research work is being conducted on workplace deviance, but to one’s surprise, a very few studies are conducted in India, despite of the growing rude behavior, fraud, theft and misconduct at the workplace in India.

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