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Psychology 2060 chapter 11.doc

Course Code
PSYCH 2060
Hayden Woodley

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Psychology 2060: Chapter 11 Notes
Counterproductive Work Behavior (CWBs)
-Counterproductive work behaviors: Voluntary behaviors that violate significant organizational norms and
in doing so threaten the well-being of an organization, its members, or both
- Examples of CWB:
- Lying
- Theft
- property damage
- violence
- engaging in risky behavior
- harassment of coworkers
- sabotage
- Most negative work behavior is withdrawal form the job
- Hanish (1995, 1998)
- proposed frustrated employees who cannot engage in withdrawal behaviors may lash out at their employer
through counterproductive behaviors such as theft, sabotage or violence
- Violence, abuse and sabotage appear to be most strongly related to anger and stress
- Withdrawal appears to be most strongly related to boredom and being upset
- Counterproductive work behaviors are intentional acts by employees intended to harm their organization or people
in it
- include acts of both physical and psychological violence
- The cost of work place violence is more dramatic and expensive than unscheduled absences
- Counterproductive behaviors lead to decreases in priductivity through loss of efficiency and effectiveness
- In US, workplace violence is estimated to cost around US$35 billion per year
-Productivity: The end result of a complex interaction of task, contextual, and counterproductive behaviors
- How individuals differ in terms of knowledge, skill, motivation and other factors such as personality may deter-
mine how they perform in the workplace
Types or Counterproductive Work Behaviors
- CWBs include withdrawal behaviors (tardiness, absence, voluntary turnover and psychological withdrawal) and
work place deviance (psychological aggression and physical violence)
-Tardiness: being late for work
-Psychological withdrawal: employees show up for work on time, do not miss a day of work and have
no intention of quitting, but withhold effort and do not perform to their fullest capabilities
-Workplace deviance: The voluntary violation of significant organizational norms in a way that threat-
ens the well-being of the organization, coworkers or both
Withdrawal Behaviors
-Tardiness= being late for work
- A survey of 8000 Canadian workers
- 20% said they were late one day per week
- 12% late two days a week

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- excuses gave for tardiness:
- Traffic (33 percent)
- Lack of sleep (24 percent)
- Children’s school or daycare issues (10 percent)
- Delonzor (2005) estimated lateness costs U.S. businesses more than $3 billion per year in lost productivity
- Some work places lateness becomes normative behavior
- lateness can be managed/reduced through organizational policies
- make it clear that lateness is not acceptable
- Employees who are late tend to be those who take unscheduled absences from work
- Forms of absenteeism that fall under CWBs are those very short term nature
- usually 1-3 days where employee does not show up for work when scheduled and calls in with some
excuse, including being ill
- Mercer consulting (2008)
- reported employees in the 455 U.S. companies surveyed averaged 5.3 days of unscheduled absence
per year
- Potential causes for unscheduled absences:
- come people are predisposed or prone to absence
- absence can also be seen as a possible coping strategy to deal with negative affectivity
- employees who are low in conscientiousness are more likely to be absent compared to those
high in that variable
- situational and organizational factors play a role in absenteeism
- recent studies have identified the Big Five factor os extroversion as being positively related to an
employees choice to be absent
- Darviri and Woods
- Found that openness to experience was positively correlated with absence behavior
- Agreeableness was negatively associated with it
- employees who are outgoing and seek new experiences while not concerned by how others
view them are likely to take unscheduled absences
- Alcohol consumption is another factor that has been assumed to have an impact on employee absen-
- relationship is poorly understood
- results from recent studies are inconsistent for 2 reasons
1. The relationship between alcohol consumption and absenteeism is assumed to be due
to the amount of alcohol consumed and not to the way in which it is consumed
2. The impact of alcohol consumption on absence behavior may be moderated by work-
place conditions
-ex. Whether the alcoholics attend work may depend on their relationships with their
coworkers or supervisors
- Prominent suggestion is that absence is a way to cope with work related strain
- Darr and Johns (2008)
- Found a small but significant relationship between absence and work strain

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- Strain-absence connection cost companies from $17,400 to $1.13 million a year in direct losses de-
pending on the size of the company
- Suggested employers give workers more felxibility over the use of their work time
- Felxtime reduces absenteeism due to non-work factors
- Also suggested that more attention be paid to organizational wellness policies as a means of reduc-
ing absenteeism
- Organizational norms play a role in absence behaviors along with individual attitudes and personality
- Newer concept
-Presenteeism: A measure of lost productivity that occurs when employees show up for work but are not
fully engaged in their jobs because of personal health and life issues.
- Employees show up for work out of fear of loosing their income or their jobs
-Voluntary Turnover
- Most extreme form of employee withdrawal behavior
-Voluntary turnover: Quitting a job permanently
- Turnover (voluntary or not) has considerable costs
- Departing employee needs to be replaced incurring recruiting, selection and training costs for the replace-
- At one time all turnover thought to be bad
- More recent thinking accepts that turnover of some employees may have positive effects on employee
morale as well as some economic benefits associated with lower costs with new employees
- (aka if a dysfunctional employee quits that will benefit the company)
- Absenteeism and turnover are positively related at the individual level
- The best predictor of turnover is an individuals degree of absenteeism
Workplace Deviance
- Workplace deviance generally involves the voluntary violation of significant organizational norms in a way that
threatens the well being of the organization, coworkers or both
Minor Serious
Interpersonal Political Deviance
- showing favoritism
- Gossiping about co-workers
- Blaming co-workers
- Competing non-beneficially
Personal Aggression
- sexual harassment
- verbal and emotional abuse
- bullying and mobbing
- stealing from co-workers
- Endangering co-workers
- Violence and aggression
Organizational Production Deviance
- Leaving early
- Taking excessive breaks
- Intentionally working slowly
- Wasting resources
Property Deviance
- Sabotage equipment
- accepting kickbacks
- lying about hours worked
- stealing from the company
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