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«FROM BAD TO WORSE: A SOCIAL CONTAGION MODEL OF ORGANIZATIONAL MISBEHAVIOR By Merideth J. Ferguson Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the ...»

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FROM BAD TO WORSE:

A SOCIAL CONTAGION MODEL OF ORGANIZATIONAL MISBEHAVIOR

By

Merideth J. Ferguson

Dissertation

Submitted to the Faculty of the

Graduate School of Vanderbilt

University

in partial fulfillment of the

requirements

for the degree of

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

in

Management

May, 2007

Nashville, Tennessee

Approved:

Professor Bruce Barry Professor Ray Friedman Professor Neta Moye Professor Sandra Robinson ©Copyright 2007 by Merideth J. Ferguson All Rights Reserved ii To my boys, John and Ian, who keep the journey fun and To John, the man who makes me feel like I can conquer whatever comes my way iii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to acknowledge those individuals who supported me in this work. First, I thank my committee members for their insight and willingness to help me develop as a researcher. I also thank my friends and peers Jason Stansbury, Wu Liu, Dave Touve, and Julie Welker for their interest, encouragement, and support throughout this process. Finally, I would like to thank my amazing husband, John, for his seemingly endless supply of mental, emotional, and logistical support. This endeavor would not be possible without your love, inspiration, and understanding. Thank you for believing in me.

iv

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page DEDICATION

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES

Chapter I. INTRODUCTION

What is Organizational Misbehavior?

What is Social Contagion?

Why is Organizational Misbehavior Significant to Organizations?

Contributions of Current Research

II. REVIEW OF RELEVANT LITERATURE

Sociological and Criminological Foundations of Organizational Misbehavior............10 Terminology and Typology of Organizational Misbehavior

Terminology in Organizational Misbehavior

Typologies in Organizational Misbehavior

Organizational Misbehavior Research

Employee Deviance as Inequity Reaction

Interpersonal Factors

Individual Attributes

Organizational Culture

Consequences of Organizational Misbehavior

Theories of Contagion

Conceptualizations of Social Contagion

Individual Factors

Group Factors

Interactional Factors

Summary

III. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND HYPOTHESES

Social Information

v Motivation as a Moderator

Group Factors as Moderators

Personality as a Moderator

Summary

IV. METHOD

Design

Participants

Procedures

Dependent Variable

Independent Variable

Mediator Variables

Moderator Variables

Control Variables

V. EMPIRICAL RESULTS

Measurement Analysis

Justification of Aggregation

Descriptive Statistics and Analyses

Hypothesis Testing

Hypothesis 1: Work Group’s Misbehavior and Social Information

Hypothesis 2: The Mediating Role of Social Information

Hypothesis 3: Injustice as Moderator

Hypothesis 4: Group Factors as Moderators

Hypothesis 5: Personality Factors as Moderators

Supplemental Analyses

VI. DISCUSSION

Statement of the Problem

Review of the Study and Findings

Summary of Findings

Implications

Limitations

Conclusion

Appendix A. TIME 1 QUESTIONNAIRE

B. TIME 2 QUESTIONNAIRE

REFERENCES

–  –  –

1. Terminology and Characterizations in Organizational Misbehavior Domain.............105

2. Comparison of Participating Organizations

3. Principal Axis Factor Analysis (Oblimin Rotation)

4. Descriptive Statistics and Correlations

5.Coefficient Alpha Reliabilities

6. Summary of Regression Results for Hypothesis 1 – Organizationally Directed Misbehavior

7. Summary of Regression Results for Hypothesis 1 – Interpersonally Directed Misbehavior

8. Summary of Regression Results for Hypothesis 2 – Organizationally Directed Misbehavior

9. Summary of Regression Results for Hypothesis 2 – Interpersonally Directed Misbehavior

10. Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 1 - Justice Interactions for ODM

11. Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 3 - Direct Observation and Justice for Predicting ODM

12. Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 3 - Indirect Knowledge and Justice for Predicting ODM

13. Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 3 - Prevalence and Justice for Predicting ODM......121

14. Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 1 - Justice Interactions for IDM

15. Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 3 - Direct Observation and Justice Predicting IDM 123

16. Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 3 - Indirect Knowledge and Justice Predicting IDM124

–  –  –

18. Hypothesis 4 – HLM Results for Direct Observation and Group Factors Predicting ODM

19. Hypothesis 4 - HLM Results for Indirect Knowledge and Group Factors Predicting ODM





20. Hypothesis 4 - HLM Results for Prevalence and Group Factors Predicting ODM...128

21. Hypothesis 4 - HLM Results for Direct Observation and Group Factors Predicting IDM

22. Hypothesis 4 - HLM Results for Indirect Knowledge and Group Factors Predicting IDM

23. Hypothesis 4 - HLM Results for Prevalence and Group Factors Predicting IDM....131

24.Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 1 - Personality Interactions Predicting ODM...........132

25.Hypothesis4 5b – Mediation Step 3 - Direct Observation and Personality Predicting ODM

26. Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 3 - Indirect Knowledge and Personality Predicting ODM

27. Hypothesis4 5b – Mediation Step 3 - Prevalence and Personality Predicting ODM.135

28. Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 1 - Personality Interactions Predicting IDM............136

29. Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 3 - Direct Observation and Personality Predicting IDM

30. Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 3 - Indirect Knowledge and Personality Predicting IDM

31. Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 3 - Prevalence and Personality Predicting IDM......139

32. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 -Direct Observation and Group Factors Predicting ODM140

33. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 - Indirect Knowledge and Group Factors Predicting ODM

34. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 - Prevalence and Group Factors Predicting ODM......142

35. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 - Direct Observation and Group Factors Predicting IDM143 viii

36. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 - Indirect Knowledge and Group Factors Predicting IDM

37. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 - Prevalence and Group Factors Predicting IDM.......145

38. Supplemental - Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 1 - Justice Interactions for ODM....146

39. Supplemental - Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 3 - Direct Observation and Justice Predicting ODM

40. Supplemental - Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 3 - Indirect Knowledge and Justice for Predicting ODM

41. Supplemental - Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 3 - Prevalence and Justice Predicting ODM

42. Supplemental - Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 1 - Justice Interactions for IDM.....150

43. Supplemental - Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 3 - Direct Observation and Justice Predicting IDM

44. Supplemental - Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 3 - Indirect Knowledge and Justice Predicting IDM

45. Supplemental - Hypothesis 3 – Mediation Step 3 - Prevalence and Justice Predicting IDM

46. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 - HLM Results for Direct Observation and Group Factors Predicting ODM

47. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 - HLM Results for Indirect Knowledge and Group Factors Predicting ODM

48. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 - HLM Results for Prevalence and Group Factors Predicting ODM

49. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 - HLM Results for Direct Observation and Group Factors Predicting IDM

50. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 - HLM Results for Indirect Knowledge and Group Factors Predicting IDM

51. Supplemental - Hypothesis 4 - HLM Results for Prevalence and Group Factors Predicting IDM

ix

52. Supplemental - Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 1 - Personality Interactions Predicting ODM

53. Supplemental - Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 3 - Direct Observation and Personality Predicting ODM

54. Supplemental Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 3 - Indirect Knowledge and Personality Predicting ODM

55. Supplemental Hypothesis 5b – Mediation Step 3 - Prevalence and Personality Predicting ODM

56. Supplemental Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 1 - Personality Interactions Predicting IDM

57. Supplemental - Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 3 - Direct Observation and Personality Predicting IDM

58. Supplemental - Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 3 - Indirect Knowledge and Personality Predicting IDM

59. Supplemental Hypothesis 5 – Mediation Step 3 - Prevalence and Personality Predicting IDM

60. Summary of Hypotheses Testing

–  –  –

1. Typology of Workplace Deviance

2.170 Social Contagion Model of Organizational Misbehavior

3. Interaction Effects for Interactional Justice and Social Information Factors on IDM

4. Interaction Effects for Informal Sanctions and Social Information Factors on ODM

5. Interaction Effects for Informal Sanctions and Social Information Factors on IDM

6. Interaction Effects for Honesty-Humility and Social Information Factors on ODM

7. Interaction Effects for Honesty-Humility and Social Information Factors on IDM

8. Updated Social Contagion Model for Organizationally Directed Misbehavior.........176

9. Updated Social Contagion Model for Interpersonally Directed Misbehavior............177

–  –  –

This dissertation addresses the transmission or contagion of organizational misbehavior (OMB) among an organization’s members. Specifically, I seek to uncover how the organizational misbehavior of the group works through social information to drive the organizational misbehavior of a focal individual. I also examine whether and how motivation, group factors, and personality moderate the relationship between an individual’s social information regarding the misbehavior of their work group and the organizational misbehavior of the focal individual. In this chapter I introduce the concepts of organizational behavior (OMB) and social contagion, briefly describe the role of misbehavior in the study of organizations, and outline the significance and potential contributions of this study to the field of organizational behavior.

What is Organizational Misbehavior?

Research in organizational misbehavior has burgeoned over the last twenty years, particularly during the last decade. The domain encompasses a wide variety of behaviors, including (but not limited to) theft (Hollinger, 1991), sabotage (Ambrose, Seabright, & Schminke, 2002), abusive supervision (Tepper, 2000), dishonesty (Lewicki, Poland, Minton, & Sheppard, 1997), withholding effort (Kidwell & Bennett, 1993), incivility (Pearson, Andersson, & Wegner, 2001), vandalism (Fisher & Baron, 1982), sexual harassment (Fitzgerald & Shullman, 1993; Gutek & Koss, 1993), workplace bullying (Rayner & Keashly, 2005), and revenge (Bies & Tripp, 1998; Tripp & Bies, 1996).

Despite the increase in research, a commonly accepted definition of the phenomenon remains elusive. Scholars have defined, operationalized, and identified its parameters in numerous ways using at least six different terms for the same general behavioral domain (Robinson & Greenberg, 1998a). These terms include organizational misbehavior (Vardi & Wiener, 1996), workplace deviance (Robinson & Bennett, 1995), antisocial behavior (Giacalone & Greenberg, 1997), workplace aggression (Baron & Neuman, 1996; Folger & Baron, 1996), organization-motivated aggression (O'LearyKelly, Griffin, & Glew, 1996), and organizational retaliation behavior (Skarlicki & Folger, 1997). The definitions applied to these terms often incorporate characteristics such as the perpetrator’s intent to harm, the target of the harm, organizational and/or societal deviance from norms, whether the action is direct or indirect, and the harmful or beneficial consequences of the behavior (Robinson et al., 1998a). The literature review in Chapter 2 expands on these terms and their associated definitions and constructs. For the purposes of this dissertation, organizational misbehavior is defined as any intentional action by a member of an organization that violates core organizational and/or societal norms.

What is Social Contagion?



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