Journal of Business Ethics
Although counterproductive work behaviors can be extremely damaging to organizations and society as a whole, we do not yet fully understand the link between employees’ organizational attachment and their intention to engage in such behaviors. Based on social identity theory, we predicted a negative relationship between organizational identification and counterproductive work behaviors. We also predicted that this relationship would be moderated by ambivalent identification. We explored counterproductive work behaviors toward the organization (CWB-O) and other individuals (CWB-I). Study 1, a survey of 198 employees, revealed that employees who identified strongly with their organization reported lower levels of CWB-O, but as predicted, only when ambivalent identification was low. Study 2 involved a manipulation in the form of a scenario presented to 228 U.S. employees, generally replicated the findings of Study 1: the link between organizational identification and CWB-O was stronger for participants in the low ambivalence condition than for those in the high ambivalence condition. The interaction effect of ambivalent and organizational identification on CWB-I was only marginally significant in the second study. These findings provide new evidence for the positive influence of organizational identification under conditions of low ambivalence on counterproductive behaviors toward an organization.
Counterproductive work behaviors
We contribute to the understanding of the relationship between organisational identification and work-related stress by examining the role that expanded forms of organisational identification play in explaining the nature of this relationship. The current study explores the extent to which organisational identification and other expanded forms of identification predict employee strain. We hypothesise that ambivalent identification, neutral identification, and disidentification will moderate the negative relationship between organisational identification and exhaustion and ego depletion, such that the link between identification and strain will be stronger when the other dimensions are low. We tested these predictions in a survey among 228 employees of care homes for the elderly (72% social-sanitary operators, 27% nurses). Results largely supported the hypotheses and show reliable interactions for ambivalent, neutral identification, and disidentification on both exhaustion and ego depletion. Results showed a significant moderation by ambivalent identification for exhaustion but not for ego depletion. We discuss limitations and future implications for research and practice of the expanded model of organisational identification in organisational interventions that deal with work-related stress.