Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 193–205 | Cite as

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




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 


  1. Agars, M. D. (2004). Reconsidering the impact of gender stereotypes on the advancement of women in organizations. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28, 103–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baron, R. A., Neuman, J. H., & Geddes, D. (1999). Social and personal determinants of workplace aggression: Evidence for the impact of perceived injustice and the type A behavior pattern. Aggressive Behavior, 25, 281–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bennett, R. J., & Robinson, S. L. (2000). Development of a measure of workplace deviance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, 349–360.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Berry, C. M., Carpenter, N. C., & Barratt, C. L. (2012). 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.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Berry, C. M., Kim, A., Wang, Y., Thompson, R., & Mobley, W. H. (2013). Five-factor model personality measures and sex-based differential prediction of performance. Applied Psychology, 62, 13–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 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.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bowling, N. A. (2010). Effects of job satisfaction and conscientiousness on extra-role behaviors. Journal of Business and Psychology, 25, 119–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bowling, N. A., & Eschleman, K. J. (2010). Employee personality as a moderator of the relationships between work stressors and counterproductive work behavior. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 15, 91–103.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Bowling, N. A., & Hammond, G. D. (2008). A meta-analytic examination of the construct validity of the Michigan organizational assessment questionnaire job satisfaction subscale. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73, 63–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brief, A. P. (1998). Attitudes in and around organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Brief, A. P., & Roberson, L. (1989). Job attitude organization: An exploratory study. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 19, 717–727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Byrnes, J. P., Miller, D. C., & Schafer, W. D. (1999). Gender differences in risk taking: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 367–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cammann, C., Fichman, M., Jenkins, D., & Klesh, J. (1979). The Michigan organizational assessment questionnaire. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  14. Chen, P. Y., & Spector, P. E. (1992). Relationship of work stressors with aggression, withdrawal, theft and substance use: An exploratory study. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 65, 177–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cialdini, R. B. (2001). Influence: Science and practice. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  16. Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  17. Colbert, A. E., Mount, M. K., Harter, J. K., Witt, L. A., & Barrick, M. R. (2004). Interactive effects of personality and perceptions of the work situation on workplace deviance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 599–609.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Cramer, E. M. (1972). Significance tests and tests of models in multiple regression. The American Statistician, 26, 26–30.Google Scholar
  19. Cross, C. P., Copping, L. T., & Campbell, A. (2011). Sex differences in impulsivity: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 137, 97–130.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Dalal, R. S. (2005). A meta-analysis of the relationship between organizational citizenship behavior and counterproductive work behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 1241–1255.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 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.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Eagly, A. H., & Wood, W. (1999). The origins of sex differences in human behavior: Evolved dispositions versus social roles. American Psychologist, 54, 408–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Elacqua, T. C., Beehr, T. A., Hansen, C. P., & Webster, J. (2009). Managers’ beliefs about the glass ceiling: Interpersonal and organizational factors. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 33, 285–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 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
  25. 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 justice. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 59, 291–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Geen, R. G. (1995). Human aggression. In A. Tesser (Ed.), Advanced social psychology (pp. 282–417). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  27. Gouldner, A. W. (1960). The norm of reciprocity: A preliminary statement. American Sociological Review, 25, 161–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gruys, M. L., & Sackett, P. R. (2003). The dimensionality of counterproductive work behavior. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 11, 30–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hershcovis, M. S., Turner, N., Barling, J., Arnold, K. A., Dupré, K. E., Inness, M., et al. (2007). Predicting workplace aggression: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 228–238.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Hung, T., Chi, N., & Lu, W. (2009). Exploring the relationships between perceived coworker loafing and counterproductive work behaviors: The mediating role of a revenge motive. Journal of Business and Psychology, 24, 257–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hyde, J. S. (1984). How large are gender differences in aggression? A developmental meta-analysis. Developmental Psychology, 20, 722–736.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jex, S. M., Beehr, T. A., & Roberts, C. K. (1992). The meaning of occupational stress items to survey respondents. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77, 623–628.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Judge, T. A., Ilies, R., & Scott, B. A. (2006). Work-family conflict and emotions: Effects at work and at home. Personnel Psychology, 59, 779–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lautenschlager, G. J., & Mendoza, J. L. (1986). A step-down hierarchical multiple regression analysis for examining hypotheses about test bias in prediction. Applied Psychological Measurement, 10, 133–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Marcus, B., & Schuler, H. (2004). Antecedents of counterproductive behavior at work: A general perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 647–660.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Meyer, J. P., Allen, N. J., & Smith, C. A. (1993). Commitment to organizations and occupations: Extension and test of a three-component conceptualization. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 538–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Meyer, J. P., Stanley, D. J., Herscovitch, L., & Topolnytsky, L. (2002). Affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization: A meta-analysis of antecedents, correlates, and consequences. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 61, 20–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Miles, D. E., Borman, W. E., Spector, P. E., & Fox, S. (2002). Building an integrative model of extra role work behaviors: A comparison of counterproductive work behavior with organizational citizenship behavior. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 10, 51–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pearson, C. M., & Porath, C. L. (2005). On the nature, consequences and remedies of workplace incivility: No time for “nice”? Think again. Academy of Management Executive, 19, 7–18.Google Scholar
  40. Penney, L. M., & Spector, P. E. (2002). Narcissism and counterproductive work behavior: Do bigger egos mean bigger problems? International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 10, 126–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Penney, L. M., & Spector, P. E. (2005). Job stress, incivility, and counterproductive work behavior (CWB): The moderating role of negative affectivity. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 777–796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 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
  43. Piccolo, R. F., & Colquitt, J. A. (2006). Transformational leadership and job behaviors: The mediating role of job characteristics. Academy of Management Journal, 49, 327–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 879–903.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Porter, L. W., Steers, R. M., Mowday, F. T., & Boulian, P. V. (1974). Organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and turnover among psychiatric technicians. Journal of Applied Psychology, 59, 603–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Raju, N. S., & Brand, P. A. (2003). Determining the significance of correlations corrected for unreliability and range restriction. Applied Psychological Measurement, 27, 52–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Reynolds, S. J., & Ceranic, T. L. (2007). The effects of moral judgment and moral identity on moral behavior: An empirical examination of the moral individual. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 1610–1624.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. 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
  49. Schalm, R. L., & Kelloway, E. K. (2001). The relationship between response rate and effect size in occupational health psychology research. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 6, 160–163.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 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
  51. Silverman, I. W. (2003). Gender differences in resistance to temptation: Theories and evidence. Developmental Review, 23, 219–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Snedecor, G. W., & Cochran, W. G. (1989). Statistical methods (8th ed.). Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press.Google Scholar
  53. Spector, P. E., & Fox, S. (2002). An emotion-centered model of voluntary work behavior: Some parallels between counterproductive work behavior and organizational citizenship behavior. Human Resources Management Review, 12, 269–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Spector, P. E., Fox, S., Penney, L. M., Bruursema, K., Goh, A., & Kessler, S. (2006). The dimensionality of counter productivity: Are all counterproductive behaviors created equal? Journal of Vocational Behavior, 68, 446–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 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, qualitative workload inventory, and physical symptoms inventory. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 3, 356–367.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Spector, P. E., & Zhou, Z. E. (2013). The moderating role of gender in relationships of stressors and personality with counterproductive work behavior. Journal of Business and Psychology. doi:10.1007/s10869-013-9307-8.
  57. The StudyResponse Project. (2011). The StudyResponse Project: An online social science research resource. Retrieved from
  58. Vardi, Y., & Weitz, E. (2004). Misbehavior in organizations. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  59. You, D., Maeda, Y., & Bebeau, M. J. (2011). Gender differences in moral sensitivity: A meta-analysis. Ethics and Behavior, 21, 263–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWright State UniversityDaytonUSA

Personalised recommendations