The Moderating Role of Gender in Relationships of Stressors and Personality with Counterproductive Work Behavior
- 1.7k Downloads
Gender differences in counterproductive work behavior (CWB: behavior that harms organizations or people) have been understudied. We explored gender mean differences, and the moderating effect of gender on the relationship of personality (agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, trait anger, and hostile attribution bias) and stressors (interpersonal conflict and organizational constraints) with three forms of CWB (directed toward organizations, directed toward persons, and relational aggression which are acts that damage relationships with other employees).
A survey was conducted of 915 employed individuals recruited from university classes. All worked at least 20 h per week (mean 26.3 h), and held a variety of jobs in many industries.
Men reported more CWB with correlations ranging from 0.12 to 0.18. Gender was found to moderate the relationship of job stressors and personality with CWB. The tendency for males to report engaging in more CWB was greater at high as opposed to low levels of interpersonal conflict, organizational constraints, trait anger and HAB and at low as opposed to high levels of agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability.
These results suggest that gender differences in overall CWB are rather small, with men engaging in more than women only when they have certain personality characteristics or perceive high levels of job stressors. In other words men may be more reactive than women.
This study shows that gender serves a moderator role, and is the first to adapt the construct of relational aggression to the workplace.
KeywordsCounterproductive work behavior Gender Job stress Personality Relational aggression
- Bal, A., & O’Brien, K. E. (2010). Validation of the hostile atrributional style short form. Paper presented at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Atlanta, GA, USA.Google Scholar
- Berkowitz, L. (1998). Affective aggression: The role of stress, pain, and negative affect. In R. G. Geen & E. Donnerstein (Eds.), Human aggression: Theories, research, and implications for social policy. San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Edwards, M. S., & Greenberg, J. (2010). Issues and challenges in studying insidious workplace behavior. In J. Greenberg (Ed.), insidious workplace behavior (pp. 309–354). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Meier, L. L., & Spector, P. E. (2013). Reciprocal effects of work stressors and counterproductive work behavior: A five-wave longitudinal study. Journal of Applied Psychology. doi: 10.1037/a0031732.
- Neuman, J. H., & Baron, R. A. (1997). Aggression in the workplace. In R. A. Giacalone & J. Greenberg (Eds.), Antisocial behavior in organizations (pp. 37–67). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
- Peters, L. H., & O’Connor, E. J. (1980). Situational constraints and work outcomes: The influences of a frequently overlooked construct. Academy of Management Review, 5, 391–397.Google Scholar
- Sackett, P. R., & DeVore, C. J. (2002). Counterproductive behaviors at work. In Handbook of industrial, work and organizational psychology: Personnel psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 145–164). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
- Spector, P. E., & Jex, S. M. (1998). Development of four self-report measures of job stressors and strain: Interpersonal Conflict at Work Scale, Organizational Constraints Scale, Quantitative Workload Inventory, and Physical Symptoms Inventory. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 3, 356–367.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar