The objective of this paper is to analyze when deviant behavior in the workplace becomes a liability. Studies show that this type of workplace behavior is increasing and little work is being done to quantify the economic impact in an organization (Levy & Tziner, 2009). Severe effects of deviant behavior in the workplace have economical, sociological and psychological implications (Executive Disclosure, 2006). This paper provides a general overview of deviant behavior within the workplace and how it affects employees and organizations. What is Deviant Workplace Behavior?
Deviant workplace behaviors are generally considered those that violate the organizational standards, policies or internal rules. It is important to mention the difference between unethical behavior and negative deviant behavior. While unethical behavior deals with breaking the rules of society, negative deviant behavior focuses on violating significant organizational norms (Appelbaum et al., 2007). Both types of behavior, however, will be examined in this paper. Researchers have given these behaviors many different names including workplace deviance, counterproductive behavior and anti-social behavior. Behavior is deemed deviant when an organization's customs, policies, or internal regulations are violated by an individual or a group that may jeopardize the well-being of the organization or its citizens (Appelbaum et al., 2007). The Impacts of Deviant Workplace Behavior
When normal work behavior goes outside the norms of the organization, its consequences are far-reaching and affect all levels of the organization including its decision-making processes, productivity and financial costs. Many influences impact the ethical behavior of employees and thus impact the overall company; however, managers can take proactive steps to positively influence ethical behavior. Management greatly influences the behavior of employees. In fact, how managers define and establish the culture makes a significant impact on how lower-level employees act as well as in the way the organization as a whole acts when faced with dicey ethical issues (Ernst and Young, 2008). Coca-Cola in India is an example of how one company is trying to proactively address ethical issues. During the recruitment and hiring process, Coca-Cola India measures each applicant’s stand on personal ethics. According to Nalin Garg, Vice President of HR, “No matter how much pressure we have on us to recruit, hiring an employee whose ethics are suspect is a no-go” (Sell 2009). The organization implemented a set of workplace ethics and protocols that are helping drive the desired corporate culture. “Every employee needs to abide by it regardless of the designation of role. It includes punctuality, keeping personal work to the minimal, controlling expenses, maintaining office decorum and contributing towards creating a positive culture that results in enhanced performance and workplace relationships” (Sell 2009). The company also works with an external agency to provide a hotline to encourage and protect whistleblowers within its organization. What Causes Bad Behavior in the Workplace?
According to a recent phone survey of 1,305 American employees performed by Integra Realty Resources, stress leads to physical violence in one in ten work environments. And almost half of those surveyed said yelling and verbal abuse is common in their workplaces (Daw, 2001). Most interestingly, this behavior is not linked to class, job type, education, or income levels. So what’s causing all this erratic behavior? In short, stress. American businesses have suffered tremendously in the last five years due to severe economic downturn. These changes required organizations to downsize, leaving the remaining employees with more duties than ever before. This “do more with less” culture means employees are stretched to their maximum constantly. Employees are skipping breaks and lunches in order to meet job and...
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