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Deviant Workplace Behavior

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Deviant Workplace Behavior

Deviant workplace behavior causes many problems for organizations. It is defined as voluntary behavior that violates significant organizational norms, and in doing so threatens the well-being of an organization, its members, or both (Werner & DeSimone, 2012). Deviant workplace behavior can affect employee performance. It can create a hostile environment and low morale.

Deviant workplace behavior can be categorized into two types: organizational and interpersonal. Behavior directed at the organization includes such acts as theft, sabotage, and voluntary absenteeism. Behavior directed at individuals includes harassment, aggression and spreading rumors. Both types of behavior can cost the organization money. When behavior is directed at the organization, the organization will lose due to lost production. When behavior is directed at other employees, the organization will lose because it creates a hostile working environment, which leads to poor performance (Chullen, Dunford, Angermeier, Boss, & Boss, 2010).

Employees may be reluctant to admit to deviant behavior. When employees use self-report methods to analyze their behaviors, they may not think their actions are deviant. Therefore, organizations need to use both self-report and non-self-report methods to analyze suspected deviant behaviors. Employees that are affected by the deviant behavior may have a more accurate account of what happened (Stewart, Woehr, McIntyre, Bing, & Davidson, 2009). Sometimes the behavior can be contributed the situation and not the person. It is important to analyze the behavior without bias.

The ethical climate of an organization is related to various types of deviant behavior. The ethical climate of an organization can affect the ethical behavior of employees. Employees receive their cues as to what is considered ethically appropriate from the organization (Peterson, 2002). Do the managers follow the organizational policies? Do they enforce all the policies for all the employees? It is important for managers to treat all employees equally. Managers can create a bad ethical image for the organization, which can cause employees to demonstrate deviant behavior.

Allowing these behaviors to thrive in an organization can make the working environment toxic for your employees. When the environment becomes saturated with deviant behavior organizations must commit to an overhaul of the organization's norms, attitudes, and ethical and social values (Appelbaum & Shapiro, 2006). Managers need to become role models for their employees. When managers follow the rules, the employees are more likely to follow the rules.

Organizations that want to change their environment can turn to coaching. Coaching is defined as a process to encourage employees to accept responsibility for their own performance (Werner & DeSimone, 2012). Coaching



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