Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 193-205

First online:

Sex as a Moderator of the Relationships Between Predictor Variables and Counterproductive Work Behavior

  • Nathan A. BowlingAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Wright State University Email author 
  • , Gary N. BurnsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Wright State University

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The purpose of the current study was to examine sex as a moderator of the relationships between four predictor variables—job satisfaction, organizational commitment, interpersonal conflict, and organizational constraints—and counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs).


Using a two-wave design (time lag = 6 months), we collected self-report data from workers employed in a variety of different settings (N = 220).


We found relatively stronger predictor–CWB relationships for men than for women in five of the eight interactions that we tested. These moderator effects were partially explained by sex differences in between-person variability of CWBs (i.e., relatively lower variability was observed for women than for men) as well as sex differences in the reliability with which CWBs were assessed (i.e., relatively lower reliability was observed for women than for men).


In order to reduce the incidence of CWBs, it is important to gain a better understanding of predictor–CWB relationships. The current study found that predictor variables that are typically examined by CWB researchers might be more useful for predicting CWBs among men than among women.


Although several studies have examined the predictors of CWBs, the current study is among the first to examine sex as a moderator of predictor–CWB relationships.


Counterproductive work behavior Workplace deviance Sex differences Job attitudes Occupational stress