A Study on Counterproductive Work Behavior, Discrete Negative Emotions and Organisation Control Environment
Organisational scholars are increasingly focusing on employee behaviors, while traditionally, the emphasis was more on job performance as an only indicator of employee’s contribution to organisation goals. Employee behavior refers to the way in which employees respond to specific circumstances or situations in the workplace. These employee behavior can help or hurt an organisation. The helpful behaviors improve the functioning of an organisation (Organisation citizenship behaviors, OCB), whereas the harmful behaviors are the intentional violation of norms and are against the organisation interest (Counterproductive work behaviors, CWB). Counterproductive work behaviors (CWB) is a broad term which is composed of many deviant and harmful behaviors that can be classified into different dimensions and categories. It has been categorized as two indices of CWB based on the target viz. behaviors that affect organisation (CWB-O) and behaviors that affect individual (CWB-P). However, these behaviors are quite common in organisations and it would be necessary to understand these behaviors among different groups of employees (classified based on age, gender, marital status, tenure, education, and domain). In addition, it is important to develop and validate different dimensions of CWB. CWB has a significant effect on the well-being of the members and also costs the organisation. These behaviors in an organisation are elicited as a result of different antecedents that include stressful situations at work, individual’s personality or even some personal factors like sleep deprivation and family incivility. The widely accepted explanation for CWB is that it is caused due to stressful work situations that elicit negative emotions and these emotions in turn encourage CWB. Hence, negative emotions play an important mediating role between different frustrating situations and the resulting CWB. xiv However, frustrating workplace situations cannot be the only cause of the resulting emotions. It can be influenced by many other factors such as personality, persisting emotional state, individual’s appraisal of the situation and so on. These influencing factors interact with frustrating workplace situations to generate negative emotions and these emotions lead to CWB. Further, majority of the studies examined negative emotions as a single composite variable or merely confined to job dissatisfaction or frustration. Whereas, negative emotions consist of a range of discrete emotions like anger, boredom, disgusted etc. and these emotions can be caused by different situational events and lead to different types of deviant behaviors. Hence, in the current study, discrete negative emotions are considered as a primary antecedent to CWB. Organisations need to take an active role to control and deter these CWB. There exist limited studies that examine these control variables in relation to CWB. At most, it has been examined as a likelihood of punishment. The factors in the deterrence process that have an influence on the behavior are mostly found in the literature of aggression, theft which are a form of CWB. Hence, to address this gap, we have considered studying the influence of organisation control environment (OCE) on different dimensions of CWB. The factors considered under OCE are Certainty of Detection (CD), Severity of Formal Punishment (SFP) and Informal Workgroup Sanctions (IWS) The specific research objectives of this study are as listed below: 1. To develop and validate the measure of CWB in organisations. 2. To compare the level of different dimensions of CWB across various demographic characteristics. 3. To investigate the effects of individual negative emotions on different dimensions of CWB. 4. To examine the influence of OCE on different dimensions of CWB. xv We primarily confined our study to manufacturing organisations in Bangalore and collected data using a structured questionnaire. We adopted simple random sampling method to get 719 employees from different manufacturing organisations to respond to the questionnaire. Subsequently, the data collected was analyzed using various statistical methods. Firstly, to develop the dimensions of CWB, we used exploratory factor analysis that categorized the large set of CWB items into 6 factors based on the underlying structure of the variables. This resulted in the dimensions of CWB that include; (1) Psychological abuse; (2) Misuse of time and resources; (3) Fraud and related activities; (4) Production deviance; (5) Sabotage and (6) Alcohol use. Further, we used independent sample t test and ANOVA to analyze if these dimensions of CWB vary across age, gender, marital status, education, tenure and domain. It was observed that dimensions abuse, fraud and related activities, production deviance and sabotage varied with gender implying that male exhibit these behaviors more than female. Dimensions like abuse, fraud and related activities, production deviance and sabotage varied with marital status indicating that unmarried employees exhibit these behaviors more than the married employees. The dimensions misuse of time and resource and sabotage varied with the level of education. The results indicated that the below graduation group exhibit more of sabotage and less of misuse of time and resources as compared to the graduation and above group. Further, ANOVA was used to check the significant differences in CWB dimensions across tenure. The results indicated that employees with short tenure exhibit more of CWB than compared with employees with longer tenure. Further, we examined the influence of negative emotions and perceived organisation control environment on different dimensions of CWB using Hierarchical Multiple Regression Technique. The results indicated that different negative emotions encourage different CWB. xvi Discouragement, fatigue and fury were the most common negative emotions that were found to influence majority of the dimensions of CWB. Anxiety was found to have a significant influence on fraud and related activities while boredom was observed to have a significant influence on sabotage. Furthermore, among the factors of OCE, IWS turned out to be significant while both CD and SFP were insignificant for all the dimensions of CWB. Hence, to check for any possible indirect effects of CD and SFP on CWB, we used PLS-SEM technique. CD was found to have a significant influence on SFP and further, SFP was observed to have a strong positive influence on IWS. This indicated that all the 3 factors of OCE had a significant role, either direct or indirect in reducing CWB. This study contribute towards understanding employee behavior in response to certain discrete negative emotions. It also highlights the importance of formal control systems and informal social norms among the employees, that help deter CWB. In addition, the study also underscores the indirect contribution of CD and SFP in controlling CWB. To summarize, this study is an empirical contribution to the literature focusing on the influence of negative emotions and organisation control environment on CWB.