Stress, Personality, and Counterproductive Work Behavior

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Book Chapter

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Antisocial Behavior, Role Conflict, Organizational Justice, Interpersonal Conflict, Role Ambiguity

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Counterproductive work behaviour (CWB) by employees is an all too common occurrence in organizations. Studies have shown that 95 per cent of employees have engaged in some form of CWB at least once (e.g. Penney, 2002). The costs to American businesses associated with just one type of CWB, employee theft, have been estimated to be more than $200 billion annually (Govoni, 1992). Given the prevalence and economic impact of CWB, the attention given to CWB by organizational researchers is not surprising. Two major threads in organizational research on CWB have developed over the years. One identifies environmental conditions that may serve as antecedents to CWB, such as the presence of job stressors, while the other focuses on the role that individual personality plays in the likelihood that an individual will engage in CWB. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss recent organizational research linking both of these streams, job stressors and personality, to CWB. First, the CWB construct and research is discussed briefly. Next, a conceptual model illustrating the relationships among job stress, personality, and CWB is presented as an organizing framework. Finally, specific job stressors and personality variables and their relationships with CWB are discussed.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Stress, Personality, and Counterproductive Work Behavior, In A. Sagie, M. Koslowsky & S. Stashevsky (Eds.), Misbehavior and Dysfunctional Attitudes in Organizations, Palgrave MacMillan, p. 194-210