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Billy Sellers and Tom Shearer


Professor Rock Final Paper 6 December 2017

Misbehavior in the Work Force

It is almost certain that most, if not all, members of an organization experience some sort of misbehavior. Misbehaviors have a wide range of severity; ranging from minor issues such as name calling to extreme cases like sexual harassment and theft. Not only is misbehavior common in an organization, it is also an expensive situation. CBS news stated that roughly five percent of

a company’s annual revenue could be lost due to employee fraud. Employee Misbehavior

Every organization ultimately has employees who are guilty of misbehavior; these companies must establish a fair and equitable policy that is punitive and disciplinary. The policy

must be applied equally to all employees who cause problems with their misbehavior. We believe the primary and most helpful approach to employee misbehavior is effective and regular training. Page 392 of the textbook illustrates the most effective training techniques, on the job training, classroom instruction, and apprenticeships. On the job training takes place in the normal workplace where employees learn to do certain assigned tasks. Classroom instruction refers to employees gaining knowledge about their job in a classroom setting. This often includes video scenarios, written materials, and group discussions. Apprenticeships are learning the skills of a

certain job by shadowing and working with a current employee of that position. Realizing misbehavior in its early stages will make a great difference when compared to letting the situation linger. It is the responsibility of individual managers and the CEO to notice and be fully aware of the early stages of employee misbehavior. When a policy is fair to every employee it is generally quite effective. A fair and effective policy encourages employees to confidentially report misbehavior to their superiors; this prevents the misbehavior before it increases and causes even more serious problems. Examples of misbehavior that can be included in an Employee Code of Conduct include sexual harassment, the theft of money and company property as well as arguments among employees that can easily escalate into very serious situations. When an employee has a grievance against another employee or manager, he or she will have confidence that company supervisors will reach a fair, equitable and justifiable resolution of the problem. A very effective Employee Code of Conduct will include several employees sitting on the Employee Board of Review that deals with all complaints and misconduct; this policy is even more effective if those employees on the Board of Review are duly elected to this position by a fair and honest company election. The Employee Code of Conduct should also include certain Conflict Management Strategies. The length of time and the depth of the training and re-education sessions should be determined by the severity and seriousness of the misbehavior. The Employee Code of Conduct should require company managers to supervise and monitor these training sessions. Other approaches would be listed in the Employee Code of Conduct so that each employee will be fully aware of the consequences and punishment for each individual form of misbehavior. The consequences and disciplinary actions can include fines, loss of salary and a lower salary scale for a temporary or longer period of time; these disciplinary options could also

include temporary suspension without pay or immediate dismissal from the company. Obviously, an illegal act of the theft of funds or company property should result in the arrest and legal action necessary against the employee. The most important benefit of an effective and fair code of conduct is the increased enthusiasm and positive approach of the employee to their work

assignment; this can only improve the quality of the employee’s work and productivity. As a

result of an improved quality of work, the organization will become more effective and efficient. Another serious situation that every manager and CEO should address is the manner in which the work environment can influence employee misbehavior. It is crucial for both basic employees as well as managers to realize that there is a time and a place for everything. For example, it would not be logical or productive to start a conversation about plans for the weekend when someone is focusing on making precise cuts for a custom window. The work environment should provide an atmosphere where the employee can concentrate on their assigned duties without excessive noise or annoying harassment by other employees; the inability to concentrate and work in a comfortable environment definitely contributes to an employee’s anxiety, frustration and eventual misbehavior. A lack of focus in the work environment will eventually result in a less efficient organization. Problems within the work environment should be noticed, analyzed, addressed and solved right away so that there is much less chance of difficult employee reactionary misbehavior. If employees have adequate space within their work environment for regular breaks and snacks, this will help to refresh and motivate the employee so that they can do a better job of completing their work assignments. Understanding other cultures plays a vital role when it comes to managing misbehavior. It is important to understand different cultures to avoid misunderstandings that can lead to misbehaviors. Page 563 in the textbook gives the perfect example of this; shaking hands. In the

United States, it is not expected for a certain person to initiate the handshake. However, In China, the lower-status person is to start the handshake. Modern companies and corporations have to learn how to effectively deal with the misbehavior and misconduct by customers of the company. Customers resort to misbehavior due to various reasons; poor customer service, unfair and inequitable treatment, or a poor quality of the goods purchased from the company. Misbehavior can be simply annoying and/or irritating,

but it also can extend into the range of illegal conduct that requires the presence of the Police or other law enforcement officials. Company employees need to be prepared to deal with the occasional irate and irrational customer who stubbornly maintains the accuracy of their complaint. The “golden rule” that some believe must be applied to customer relations is “the customer is always right”, however, there are certainly times when a complaining customer is

very dishonest and has an ulterior motive for compensation. The ulterior motive can include obtaining the product or service at no cost or reduced cost since the customer claims they received poor customer service or they believe the product is defective. When it is obvious to the company or it’s managers that the complaints are erroneous or invalid, the company must then decide whether to pursue a defense with an attorney as a legal representative. The company has to decide whether to risk negative publicity or accede to the customer’s demands and accept the monetary loss; this can be a difficult decision since there are dishonest customers which make a career out of purchasing a product or service and then return complaining about an imagined defect or poor customer service. At this point, the customer demands a refund of a portion of their money or compensation for their time and inconvenience while the company manager must make a decision as to how to proceed with the situation. Complete customer satisfaction is critical to a successful organization; not only will it make the customer happy, they

will likely come back to your organization. Along the same line, building customer relationships can greatly benefit your organization by making the making the customer feel comfortable in your organization. A satisfied customer is much more likely to refer a friend or family member to use your organization than an upset customer would. Also, a satisfied customer is less likely to commit forms of theft within your organization.

Model of Organizational Misbehavior

will likely come back to your organization. Along the same line, building customer relationships can greatly

Organizational Goals

Organizational goals of implied and definitive targets that serve to transform organizational strategy into actual plans and policies should reflect management’s values and expectations; these policies strongly affect the quality of an employee’s job performance as well

as productivity levels. The problem associated with organizational goals concerns the fact that the pursuit of these goals may also promote employee misbehavior; this can occur when the policies are conflicting, highly demanding, vague or unrealistic and are, as stated by Stein and Kanter in 1993, promoted by a culture of powerful, inconsiderate and neurotic managers. The authors Ackroyd and Thompson suggested in 1999 that employee misconduct is mostly a form of protest against unfair and arbitrary control by managers.

Control Systems

Control systems can be defined as physical or procedural factors within the workplace designed to specifically reduce or eliminate the occurrence of OMB; these systems serve as a vehicle to increase the risk of detection so that those employees involved will ultimately be sanctioned and disciplined. We believe that it is reasonable to assume that oppressive as well as unenforced company controls such as performance appraisal, rewards, disciplinary procedures and individual monitoring policies may actually cause problems with OMB. The control systems within an organization may actually have a direct effect on the degree of an employee becoming involved in acts of organizational misbehavior. When an employee experiences policies of extreme control and surveillance, this employee will probably attempt to resist and protest by causing damaging behavior as in OMB Type D. Alternatively, extremely permissive and lax policies could also lead to exemplary and outstanding behavior; it is important to also realize that the same permissive signals could be interpreted as a form or organizational weakness that will provide a convenient opportunity for OMB.

Organizational Culture and Climate

The cultural structure within an organization is often regarded as a barometer that will determine the extent to which an employee will share and implement organizational values and beliefs. Employees usually perceive the equitable distribution and fairness of the company’s policies as important reasons for positive conduct or OMB; this suggest that fair and ethical organizational policies definitely influence the manner in which employees behave properly or engage in acts of OMB.

Organizational Cohesiveness

Cohesiveness is the extent to which employee’s bond together socially and enjoy normal closeness. Certain work environments can increase the pressures to join and adhere to the degree of bonding and closeness practiced by the majority of other employees. Organizational cohesiveness can affect OMB in the same way the organizational culture affects OMB; this factor could even be more significant as it could contribute to OMB for the sake of ideology and

organizational causes.

Internal Pressures

The inclusion of work groups within organizations was determined to be extremely influential with respect to OMB. Over the years, different studies of groups and their internal

organizational effects have produced both positive and negative behavior results with respect to productivity. A considerable number of researchers and theorists have found that work groups can have a positive influence on organizational behavior by reinforcing good productivity and positive performance attitudes. Researchers have also determined that if an employee is a member of a work group in which OMB continues unsanctioned or is not disciplined, that employee will very probably engage in similar OMB.

External Pressures

The management within an organization is primarily responsible for influencing the normal and productive behavior of subordinate individuals and groups. Several studies have determined that management within an organization can actually encourage and prosper both positive and negative attitudes and behaviors. We believe that a group’s antisocial OMB can also serve as a reason for individual members to engage in OMB; this could include such misbehavior as damaging employer property, purposely hurting and slandering a colleague and intentionally breaking the rules of the organization.

Job Design

Most jobs within organizations are designed with the freedom to take advantage of or improperly use different resources within the organization; these resources could include such things as time, office equipment, work tools, telephone or the Internet. We believe that certain

organizations manage to apply stern mechanisms to determine how their employees occupy their time while other organizations have no systems in place to monitor the actions of their employees. Vardi and Weitz (2001) found that an employees’ freedom to function with or without autonomy is a significant predictor of OMB.

Individual Level Antecedents

We believe that the personality of an employee plays a significant role in motivation as

well as how this personality influences the desire to participate in OMB. There are many

personality traits that can influence behavior, however, the level of a person’s moral

development and the degree to which a person does not care about social norms and obligations definitely influences that desire or predisposition to engage in OMB. Griffin (1998) discovered that individual ethics, values and personal morality are definitely antecedents of OMB. Fox and Spector (1999) also discovered that relationships exist between employees with anxiety and

impulsiveness and the onset of OMB. Personality plays a definitive role in deciding whether an employee will engage in OMB. Employees with sociopathic or pathological personality traits usually become involved in some form of OMB.


When an employee believes they are being treated unfairly within the organization, the

desire to engage in acts of OMB dramatically increases. Employees who experience these

feelings can easily proceed to OMB in the form of theft. We also believe there is a significant

relationship between an employees’ job dissatisfaction and frequent absence from work.

OMB Manifestations

According to Vardi and Weitz (2004), we divide the different forms of OMB into five

categories; these include: 1) intrapersonal misbehavior such as drinking alcohol on the job, drug abuse, or workaholic behavior; 2) interpersonal misbehavior that includes aggressive behavior and sexual harassment; 3) production misbehavior such as rule violations, loafing, absenteeism and tardiness; 4) property misbehavior that includes destruction of property, theft, spying on employees and computer hacking; and 5) political misbehavior such as misuse of professional or legal authority, promoting politics on the job and showing favoritism to anyone within the organization.

Intrapersonal Manifestations Substance abuse within organizations is becoming is becoming a very significant problem for American companies and organizations; these substances include alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. Employees may also choose to “abuse” themselves by exaggerating the responsibilities of their work assignments; these individuals are often referred to as “workaholics” with another form of addictive behavior. Workaholics also tend to rationalize a

desire to engage in acts of OMB because they imagine their work responsibilities are too demanding; they also believe that they deserve extra benefits and compensation.

Interpersonal Manifestations

Incivility is quickly becoming one of the most prevalent and serious problems within a workplace organization. Insulting behavior is one of the most frequent forms of incivility; this includes excluding employees from events, lack of gratitude, rudeness and ignoring any particular employee. Insulting behavior is always intended to be humiliating or offensive and can be based on religion, physical appearance, lack of intelligence or exceptional intelligence, sexual orientation or the extent of one’s education. Insulting behavior and cynical comments are treated as OMB because employees of an organization are supposed to take their work responsibilities seriously with a conscientious attitude. Revenge and retribution are behaviors that are retaliatory in nature and are very common through all periods of human history; these forms of conduct are very common within the internal structure of organizations. Employees who believe they are the victims of injustice in the workplace or organization frequently engage in many different forms of OMB for their own satisfaction. Aggression, violence and sexual harassment are quite common in work organizations. Various offenses such as fights, shootings, stabbings and sexual assault have occurred throughout all kinds of American workplace organizations; these activities all contribute to serious OMB and require very diligent and clear policies which clearly state the penalties involved for such actions. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome advances or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Withdrawal behavior is considered a form of production related OMB; this includes unjustified absence and excessive tardiness. All of these forms of conduct adversely affect the employee’s performance and professional behavior. In addition to withdrawal behavior, excessive workplace relaxation, “whistle-blowing” and political behavior are activities within organizations the definitely contribute to significant forms of OMB. When a person is frequently absent of late or constantly performs poorly in a productive capacity due to laziness, OMB

begins to ferment within the minds of other employees. One of the most critical and somewhat dangerous forms of conduct within a workplace organization is referred to as “whistle-blowing”; these refer to acts by employees who witness or are aware of negative OMB and desire to inform their superiors. One of the problems with “whistle-blowing” is the tendency of the reporting person to expect favors in return for his information. Political behavior is another form of workplace; this can have very extensive ramifications throughout the organization since it can provoke all kinds of emotions, opinions and anger toward those with whom you disagree. Political behavior can cause very severe forms of OMB since this causes negative forms of manipulation and exploitation of employees who are

afraid of losing their employment because they disagree with the other person’s politics.

Property Manifestations

Destructive acts such as theft, sabotage, vandalism and espionage are all viewed as very serious forms of OMB. Employee theft is the most common and intriguing form of OMB as it is

one of the most expensive forms of OMB related to company financial stability. One figure estimates that 75% of workplace organization employees steal some valuable item from their employer at least one time. Vandalism and sabotage are the most harmful manifestations of OMB as these forms of conduct inflict serious damage on the organization’s productive ability,

reputation and physical property. Cyber crime is one of the most threatening and devastating forms of 21 st century OMB; this form of OMB seems to provide the perpetrator with many ways to misbehave in the workplace. The world of micro-processing with the computer and various forms of telecommunication make it possible for an employee to take advantage of a constantly high number of opportunities generated by the world of information technology. The opportunity and temptation to steal or manipulate the confidential information of an individual or a workplace organization is extensive and frightening.

Rationale for OMB Management

The high cost of OMB should provide sufficient motivation for an organization’s management to attempt to control and manage this organizational problem; this can also be complemented by the critical importance of the legal reasons to prevent OMB. The illegal acts of theft, fraud, sexual harassment, cyber crime, sabotage and vandalism are legally forbidden by law; these laws must be enforced by the management of workplace organizations. Organizations and companies are considered liable for the actions of their employees at the workplace; this also includes when these OMB actions are not in agreement with the policies of the organization. The extensive list of different OMB crimes and manifestations do cause a very heavy social and economic cost to the employer; these acts of OMB cannot be ignored or interpreted as a minor or insignificant part of the organization’s daily life. Managers of workplace organizations should be aware of the vast forms and consequences of OMB along with its

negative and destructive consequences to the workplace organization and its shareholders.

Summary of Sources

10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric

by R. L. Adams; 2016

Every entrepreneur faces a highly competitive world in today’s business environment. Trying to attract a new customer is far too difficult and expensive to lose the relationship because the owner did not treat them properly. Complete customer satisfaction is critical to a successful organization; those who adapt with this knowledge can and will survive with almost limitless financial success and market popularity. Certainly, not every business owner believes the customer is always right, however, those entrepreneurs who do take care of their customers

ultimately prevail in the current vicious business climate. Adams believes that if entrepreneurs give solid service and value to their customers, they are guaranteeing their own success. The manner in which an entrepreneur treats customers is indicative of how that person views life and the responsibilities we all have to other people. The 10 reasons for giving excellent customer service include the following: 1) Customer retention is much less expensive and easier than trying to attract new customers; 2) Existing customers are more likely to make purchases than new customers; 3) Excellent customer service usually results in less overall problems; 4) Great customer service improves the

entrepreneur’s reputation and type of business product; 5) Excellent customer services almost

guarantees that you will retain your customers for long periods of time; 6) Personal recommendations and word-of-mouth advertising is the best way to promote a business; 7) Great customer service is always noticed by employees as this creates a desire for the employee to remain with the company; 8) Great customer service creates possibilities for new opportunities;

9) Customer service creates confidence in the company’s mission and 10) Great Customer

service extends the life of the business for a very long period of time.

The Dark Side of Rapport: Agent Misbehavior Face-to-Face and Online by Jap, Robertson and Hamilton; 2011

A significant amount of research affirms the values of establishing good rapport in negotiations; this is complemented by the fact that negotiators who emphasize good rapport tend to reach an agreement while being pleased with the outcome of their work. Good relationships have been proven to produce positive results in standard negotiations, however, the effects of rapport in negotiations in which there is an impasse is much more complicated. Unethical actions occur when one negotiator finds it necessary to lie to the other negotiating partner; these findings came as a result of three experiments. The authors discovered that negotiators who exhibit a high level of rapport tend to misbehave unethically more often than negotiators who have a low level of rapport. This effect remains constant when high rapport results from the way negotiations are performed. There is a difference between negotiations being performed in person or by computer mediation; these results also hold true when a brief meeting takes place prior to negotiations to try to establish good rapport. The negative effects of unethical misbehavior as opposed to the positive effects of satisfaction with the negotiation are reduced when the negotiators are reminded before negotiations begin that their behavior can have a long-term effect on their reputation. The research suggests that the level of rapport has both advantages and some disadvantages when all the data is analyzed. UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING MISBEHAVIOR IN ORGANIZATIONS by Ely Weitz and Yoav Vardi; 2007 All work organizations have employees who manage to become involved in some type of misbehavior or inappropriate conduct that is specifically related to their work assignment. The most common misbehavior is employee theft of company assets; this form of misconduct has an annual cost estimate of $200 billion in the United States.

The basic types of Organizational Misbehavior (OMB) include forms of misbehavior that specifically benefits the employee guilty of the misconduct (OMB Type S). Another example of misbehavior includes those that primarily are intended to benefit the individual’s employing

organization (OMB Type 0); these include the falsification of records in order to receive a contract for the organization. The third type of misbehavior includes those that are intended to inflict damage and be destructive to the organization (OMB Type D). Misbehavior of the Type S and O categories are designed to benefit the individual or the organization while Type D is supposed to cause harm to others or the organization. There are different antecedents of OMB. Organization-Level Antecedents that can cause OMB include organizational goals that are not carefully controlled; these can include control systems, organizational culture and climate as well as organizational cohesiveness. Group-Level Antecedents include internal and external pressures while Task-Level Antecedents involve job design characteristics. Individual-Level Antecedents include personality and attitudes. Weitz and Vardi organize the expressions and manifestations of OMB into five categories: 1) intrapersonal misbehavior; 2) interpersonal misbehavior; 3) production misbehavior; 4) property misbehavior and 5) political misbehavior. The authors suggest a model and rationale for OMB management that includes plans for prevention and a response. Organizational misbehavior generally costs a company or an organization a great deal of money. The cost of employee theft of money and company property has an annual price tag of

approximately $200 billion. When OMB involves problem drinking, the cost has been shown to be as high as $170 billion; there is now, however, an increasing awareness of the cost of OMB.

In 2006, Trevino, Weaver and Reynolds commented: “stakeholders, stockholders,

communities and governments have started to increase pressure on organizations and companies

to manage employees’ misbehavior; these stockholders want this OMB to be managed in ways

that can minimize illegal and unethical conduct. These authors believe it is important for managers to investigate such behavior and phenomena in their organizations while also developing ways to manage this OMB. The only way to control these problems is to truly understand what causes employees to commit acts of illegal and unethical conduct. During the past twenty years, OMB has been defined in various ways that include such

terms as: 1) noncompliant behavior; 2) workplace deviance; 3) workplace aggression; 4) antisocial behavior; 5) retaliatory behavior and 6: counterproductive behavior. If one considers workplace misbehavior as a form of deviance, it has been observed by Hollinger in 1986 that investigative research concentrates on two factors: production deviance and property deviance. Production deviance involves counterproductive OMB such as doing substandard work, production slowdowns and insubordination. Property deviance refers to OMB against the

organization’s property and assets such as pilferage, embezzlement and vandalism.


There are many different ways organizational misbehavior can and will occur within an organization or company. Most forms of organizational misbehavior can be limited and corrected by proper training and disciplinary procedures instituted by management; these forms of misbehavior can include social and economic misconduct as well as racial issues. Different forms of sexual harassment can also be limited and prevented by instructional programs and policies that are clearly explained by management. The ability to effectively manage a large and diverse organization is very difficult, however, this becomes more and more crucial each year as groups of employees within large organizations continue to become more ethnically diverse.

Alternatively, organizational misbehavior by customers is seen every day throughout the

world of small and large organizations. Many customers have used the phrase, “the customer is

always right” to their advantage, however, there are times when the customer makes mistakes

and unfairly takes advantage of a situation by using these words. The various members of management must thoroughly and uniformly instruct all employees while taking adequate precautions in order to prevent various forms of organizational misbehavior; these forms of

misbehavior can include theft as well as the instigation of individual disputes and disagreements among groups within the organization.

In order to provide for an effective and efficiently functioning organization, all forms of organizational misbehavior must be monitored, controlled and thoroughly disciplined in a comprehensive manner that is fair and helpful to all employees within the organization.

Works Cited

Jap, Sandy, Diana C. Robertson, and Ryan Hamilton. "The Dark Side of Rapport: Agent Misbehavior Face-to-Face and Online." Management Science 57.9 (2011): 1610-22. ProQuest. Web. 31 Oct. 2017.

“27 Jaw Dropping Employee Theft Statistics.”, 31 May 2017,

Adams, R.L. “10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric.”Entrepreneur, 12 Dec. 2016,

Jones, Gareth R., and Jennifer M. George. Contemporary Management. McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.

Misbehavior in Organizations.