Misbehavior, its dimensions, and relationship to commitment in organizations

Gordon Brooks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Both misbehavior and commitment in organizations have attracted substantial attention. This chapter reviews the misbehavior and commitment literature to investigate the implicit negative correlation between these two important organizational phenomena. Methodology/approach - A four-dimensional typology of counterproductive workplace behaviors (CWBs) is developed from the misbehavior literature, describing individual behaviors in terms of: their target(s), the vehicle for misbehavior, their social acceptability, and their quantity. The typology facilitates characterization of CWBs, and, more generally, comparisons between workplace commitment and the field of misbehavior, comprising the range of CWBs. Findings - The chapter supports the assumed negative relationship between commitment and misbehavior although the strength of the relationship varies across some of the four dimensions. Research limitations/implications - The reliance on secondary data limits evaluation of the typology. Further research using primary data is commended. Practical implications - More insightful audits of organizational misbehavior can be produced to guide interventions. For example, CWBs that are directed at individuals, through a person's work role, and are socially unacceptable will require different interventions to those who are directed at the organization, through extra-role behavior, and are more socially acceptable (e.g., minor thefts). Social implications - Clarifying the impact of CWBs on commitment and, hence, turnover, etc., highlights the cost of CWBs and may motivate organizations to addressCWBsand, thereby,promote healthierworkplaces. Originality/value of chapter - This chapter is novel in developing a more comprehensive typology of CWBs. Describing the various CWBs in a single, comprehensive framework provides additional insight into misbehavior.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Misbehaviour and Resistance in Organisations
EditorsAlison Barnes, Lucy Taksa
Place of PublicationBingley, UK
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781780526638
ISBN (Print)9781780526621
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameAdvances in Industrial and Labor Relations
ISSN (Print)07426186


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