Brent A. Scott, Timothy A. Judge
Vol. 26, Iss. 2, 2013
Over the years, much attention has been devoted to understanding counterproductive work behavior (CWB) and its related concepts. Less is known, however, about whether certain employees find themselves more than others to be the targets of CWB. To examine this issue, we tested a model that positioned CWB receipt as a function of employees' personality (neuroticism, agreeableness), their appearance (physical attractiveness), and the negative emotions felt toward those employees by their coworkers. Two studies using multiple sources of data revealed that disagreeable and physically unattractive employees received more CWB from their coworkers, coworker negative emotion felt toward employees was associated with CWB receipt, and the relationship between employee agreeableness and CWB receipt was due, in part, to coworker negative emotion.
An accumulating body of literature has examined counterproductive work behavior (CWB), defined as “behavior intended to hurt the organization or other members of the organization” (Spector & Fox, 2002, p. 271). Researchers have investigated CWB under a variety of labels, including abuse (Keashly, Trott, & MacLean, 1994), aggression (Baron & Neuman, 1996), antisocial behavior (Giacalone & Greenberg, 1997), harassment (Bowling & Beehr, 2006), incivility (Andersson & Pearson, 1999), social undermining (Duffy, Ganster, & Pagon, 2002), and workplace deviance (Robinson & Bennett, 1995). Collectively, this research has drawn attention to CWB in organizations by identifying reasons why employees engage in such harmful actions, with antecedents encompassing both personal factors (e.g., agreeableness, conscientiousness, job satisfaction, and negative emotion) and situational factors (e.g., unfair treatment; for meta-analyses, see Berry, Ones, & Sackett, 2007; Dalal, 2005; Salgado, 2002).
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