Advertisement

Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 669–681 | Cite as

The Moderating Role of Gender in Relationships of Stressors and Personality with Counterproductive Work Behavior

  • Paul E. Spector
  • Zhiqing E. Zhou
Article

Abstract

Purpose

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).

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Implications

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.

Originality/value

This study shows that gender serves a moderator role, and is the first to adapt the construct of relational aggression to the workplace.

Keywords

Counterproductive work behavior Gender Job stress Personality Relational aggression 

References

  1. Aguinis, H., Beaty, J. C., Boik, R. J., & Pierce, C. A. (2005). Effect size and power in assessing moderating effects of categorical variables using multiple regression: A 30-year review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 94–107.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2002). Human aggression. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 27–51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, C. A., Deuser, W. E., & DeNeve, K. M. (1995). Hot temperatures, hostile affect, hostile cognition, and arousal: Tests of a general model of affective aggression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 434–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Archer, J. (2000). Sex differences in aggression between heterosexual partners: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 651–680.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Archer, J. (2004). Sex differences in aggression in real-world settings: A meta-analytic review. Review of General Psychology, 8, 291–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 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
  7. Bennett, R. J., & Robinson, S. L. (2000). Development of a measure of workplace deviance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, 349–360.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berkowitz, L. (1990). On the formation and regulation of anger and aggression: A cognitive-neoassociationistic analysis. American Psychologist, 45, 494–503.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 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
  10. Berry, C. M., Carpenter, N. C., & Barratt, C. L. (2011). Do other-reports of counterproductive work behavior provide an incremental contribution over self-reports? A meta-analytic comparison. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97, 613–636.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Berry, C. M., Ones, D. S., & Sackett, P. R. (2007). Interpersonal deviance, organizational deviance, and their common correlates: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 410–424.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bowker, J. C., Markovic, A., Cogswell, A., & Raja, R. (2012). Moderating effects of aggression on the associations between social withdrawal subtypes and peer difficulties during early adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41, 995–1007.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cairns, R. B., Cairns, B. D., Neckerman, H. J., Ferguson, L. L., & Gariépy, J.-L. (1989). Growth and aggression: I. Childhood to early adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 25, 320–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Card, N. A., Stucky, B. D., Sawalani, G. M., & Little, T. D. (2008). Direct and indirect aggression during childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic review of gender differences, intercorrelations, and relations to maladjustment. Child Development, 79, 1185–1229.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chiu, S.-F., & Peng, J.-C. (2008). The relationship between psychological contract breach and employee deviance: The moderating role of hostile attributional style. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73, 426–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Conway, J. M., & Lance, C. E. (2010). What reviewers should expect from authors regarding common method bias in organizational research. Journal of Business and Psychology, 25, 325–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Crick, N. R. (1997). Engagement in gender normative versus nonnormative forms of aggression: Links to social–psychological adjustment. Developmental Psychology, 33, 610–617.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Crick, N. R., Casas, J. F., & Mosher, M. (1997). Relational and overt aggression in preschool. Developmental Psychology, 33, 579–588.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Crick, N. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1996). Social information-processing mechanisms on reactive and proactive aggression. Child Development, 67, 993–1002.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Digman, J. M. (1990). Personality structure: Emergence of the five-factor model. Annual Review of Psychology, 41, 417–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dodge, K. A., & Crick, N. R. (1990). Social information-processing bases of aggressive behavior in children. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 16, 8–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Douglas, S. C., & Martinko, M. J. (2001). Exploring the role of individual differences in the prediction of workplace aggression. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 547–559.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Duffy, M. K., Ganster, D., & Pagon, M. (2002). Social undermining in the workplace. Academy of Management Journal, 45, 331–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Eagly, A. H., & Crowley, M. (1986). Gender and helping behavior: A meta-analytic review of the social psychological literature. Psychological Bulletin, 100, 283–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Eagly, A. H., & Steffen, V. J. (1986). Gender and aggressive behavior: A meta-analytic review of the social psychological literature. Psychological Bulletin, 100, 309–330.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 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
  27. Evans, M. G. (1985). A Monte Carlo study of the effects of correlated method variance in moderated multiple regression analysis. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 36, 305–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fives, C. J., Kong, G., Fuller, J., & DiGiuseppe, R. (2011). Anger, aggression, and irrational beliefs in adolescents. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 35, 199–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fox, S., Spector, P. E., & Miles, D. (2001). Counterproductive work behavior (CWB) in response to job stressors and organizational justice: Some mediator and moderator tests for autonomy and emotions. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 59, 291–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Goldberg, L. R., Johnson, J. A., Eber, H. W., Hogan, R., Ashton, M. C., Cloninger, C. R., et al. (2006). The International Personality Item Pool and the future of public-domain personality measures. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 84–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Grych, J. H., & Kinsfogel, K. M. (2010). Exploring the role of attachment style in the relation between family aggression and abuse in adolescent dating relationships. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 19, 624–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hershcovis, M. S., Turner, N., Barling, J., Arnold, K. A., Dupre, K. E., Inness, M., et al. (2007). Predicting workplace aggression: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 228–238.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kerig, P. K., & Stellwagen, K. K. (2010). Roles of callous-unemotional traits, narcissism, and Machiavellianism in childhood aggression. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 32, 343–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lustman, M., Wiesenthal, D. L., & Flett, G. L. (2010). Narcissism and aggressive driving: Is an inflated view of the self a road hazard? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40, 1423–1449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Marcus, B., Lee, K., & Ashton, M. C. (2007). Personality dimensions explaining relationships between integrity tests and counterproductive behavior: Big five, or one in addition? Personnel Psychology, 60, 1–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 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.
  37. 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
  38. Ostrov, J. M., & Godleski, S. A. (2010). Toward an integrated gender-linked model of aggression subtypes in early and middle childhood. Psychological Review, 117, 233–242.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 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
  40. Prentice, D. A., & Carranza, E. (2002). What women should be, shouldn’t be, are allowed to be, and don’t have to be: The contents of prescriptive gender stereotypes. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 26, 269–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Robinson, S. L., & Bennett, R. J. (1995). A typology of deviant workplace behaviors: A multidimensional scaling study. Academy of Management Journal, 38, 555–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Saad, S., & Sackett, P. R. (2002). Investigating differential prediction by gender in employment-oriented personality measures. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 667–674.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 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
  44. Siemsen, E., Roth, A., & Oliveira, P. (2010). Common method bias in regression models with linear, quadratic, and interaction effects. Organizational Research Methods, 13, 456–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Spector, P. E., & Brannick, M. T. (2011). Methodological urban legends: The misuse of statistical control variables. Organizational Research Methods, 14, 287–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Spector, P. E., & Fox, S. (2005). The stressor–emotion model of counterproductive work behavior. In P. E. Spector & S. Fox (Eds.), Counterproductive work behavior: Investigations of actors and targets (pp. 151–174). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Spector, P. E., Fox, S., Penney, L. M., Bruursema, K., Goh, A., & Kessler, S. (2006). The dimensionality of counterproductivity: Are all counterproductive behaviors created equal? Journal of Vocational Behavior, 68, 446–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 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
  49. Spielberger, C. D., Reheiser, E. C., & Sydeman, S. J. (1995). Measuring the experience, expression, and control of anger. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 18, 207–232.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Vandello, J. A., Ransom, S., Hettinger, V. E., & Askew, K. (2009). Men’s misperceptions about the acceptability and attractiveness of aggression. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 1209–1219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wickens, C. M., Mann, R. E., Stoduto, G., Butters, J. E., Ialomiteanu, A., & Smart, R. G. (2012). Does gender moderate the relationship between driver aggression and its risk factors? Accident Analysis and Prevention, 45, 10–18.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., Geiger, T. C., & Crick, N. R. (2005). Relational and physical aggression, prosocial behavior, and peer relations: gender moderation and bidirectional associations. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 25, 421–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, PCD 4118University of South FloridaTampaUSA

Personalised recommendations