Power and Counterproductive Workplace Behaviors Class 7 Power • Power is the capacity to influence another’s behavior. • Think of a time when someone was able to influence you to do something that you would have preferred NOT to do. – Write down the details – Choose something that you are comfortable sharing with your classmates Coercive Power • Controlling other people through fear – The person can make things difficult for you or others, and you want to avoid getting him or her angry (Yukl & Falbe, 1991) – What are you / your colleagues / other people most afraid of? – Advantages / Disadvantages of using this type of power? Reward Power • Controlling people because you can distribute or withhold something that they want – The person is able to give special benefits or rewards to people, and you find it advantageous to trade favors with him or her (Yukl & Falbe, 1991) – What kinds of things to you / your colleagues / other people want the most? – Advantages? – Disadvantages? Legitimate Power • The ability to control others because of a formal position in a recognized hierarchy of an organization – The person has the right, considering his or her position and your job responsibilities, to expect you to comply with legitimate requests (Yukl & Falbe, 1991) – Can include coercive and reward power – Must be perceived as speaking on behalf of the organization – Advantages or disadvantages? Expert Power • The ability to influence others based on special skills or knowledge – The person has the experience and knowledge to earn your respect, and you defer to his or her judgment in some matters (Yukl & Falbe, 1991) – What kinds of knowledge are particularly valued? – Advantages – Disadvantages Referent Power • The ability to influence others because of charisma and likeability – You like the person and enjoy doing things for him or her (Yukl & Falbe, 1991) – Advantages – Disadvantages “Empowerment” • Freedom and ability of employees to make decisions about their work – delegating authority within a clear set of boundaries (top down) • OR – a process of risk-taking and personal growth (bottom up) • Why does “empowerment” engender so much cynicism? Empowerment • Effective job design – Autonomy – Feedback – Task identity • Choice of “empowered tasks” is important – Task significance • Informational Justice Stages of Empowerment • No discretion – Behaviors are strictly controlled by technology or supervision • Task Setting – Employee decides how to do the job, but not what the job should be • Participatory Empowerment – Some input into both “what” and “how” • Mission Defining – Employees decide “what” but do not implement ideas • Self Management – Total control over both “what to do” and “how it should be done” Form a group of 4-6 people • Go through everyone’s examples of power imbalances. • Categorize each person’s experience: what type of power was being exerted? • Is there anything that could have prevented the situation? • Be prepared to report back to the rest of the class. Counterproductive workplace behaviors • Harmful voluntary behaviors enacted on an organization’s property or employees • Intentional, malicious, negative… – e.g., theft, sabotage, saying negative things to outsiders, etc. – Not simply a lack of citizenship behaviors – Discretionary Theft • Appropriating property for personal use or resale – Discounting / giving away property to friends – “Shrinkage” or “breakage” – The most expensive form of non-violent crime against business – Major factor in 20% - 30% of bankruptcies Why Steal? Theories of Theft • Moral laxity – “today’s employees do not possess the same trustworthy qualities as employees of yesteryear” (Greenberg & Barling, 1996, p. 53) – Do you agree? • The Need Approach – Employees steal to resolve financial difficulties • e.g., drug habits, gambling, etc. – Social belongingness needs • Pressure from peers to steal, “altruistic deviance” – Do you agree? Theories of Theft • Deviant Individual Backgrounds – Theft attitudes / “Thieving personality” – Basis for pre-employment “honesty” testing • Temptation to steal • More rationalizations for theft • Less prepared to punish thieves • Thoughts of theft-related activities • Attributing more theft to others • Loyal to those accused of theft – Do you agree? Theories of Theft • Marginality – Low status – low wages – expendability – little opportunity for advancement – short tenure – little chance to develop relationships – social isolation • Do you agree? Theories of Theft • Opportunity – Everyone is considered inherently greedy, and all employees would steal given the chance • Preventative measures such as locks, computerized cash registers, splitting cash-related tasks, etc. • Deterrence doctrine – “perceived threat of organizational sanctions influences personal behavior” (Gibbs, 1977). – Anti-theft policies are explicit 1) perceived certainty: Risk of being discovered 2) perceived severity (e.g., criminal penalties, loss of job) 3) visibility of punishment Theories of Theft • Organizational Justice – Theft as retaliation – Workers feel exploited, try to correct general sense of inequity • Greenberg (1990): when pay cuts (10% reduction) were perceived as unfair, they resulted in substantial theft (and turnover) Psychological Aggression • Counterproductive workplace behaviors directed at an individual within the organization, but that do not entail direct physiological damage or the threat of such harm. – Giving someone the silent treatment – Gossiping about someone – Cried in someone’s presence to make them feel guilty – Humiliating someone – Making rude gestures at someone – Yelling at someone – Swearing at someone or using derogatory epithets • What would you do if one of your employees was being aggressive to his or her coworkers? Physical Violence • Counterproductive workplace behaviors directed at an individual within the organization, that involve direct physical damage or the threat of such harm. • May begin as psychological aggression and escalate into violence. – Throwing an object at someone – Pushing or shoving someone or bumping into them with unnecessary force – Punching or kicking someone or trying to do so • Four sources: strangers, customers, domestic partners, coworkers Employee Violence • Typically, an employee targets a co-worker or supervisor for perceived wrongdoing – Perpetrators can be either employees or managers – Targets can include supervisors, colleagues, or subordinates – More media coverage and research than other types of violence • BUT < 15% of workplace killings Insider-initiated Violence • Not affected by employee task characteristics • Individual differences – trait anger – hostile attributional style – attitudes toward revenge – previous exposure to aggressive occupational cultures – binge drinking Insider-initiated Violence • Organizational factors – feeling over-controlled – abusive supervision – Interactional injustice – No threat of organizational sanctions – More important than individual factors • e.g., moonlighters (Inness, Barling & Turner, 2005) Group Activity Your friend is the director of a municipal transit commission (similar to the TTC or the HSC). One of her employees was caught sleeping in one of the buses that he was supposed to be fixing. When your friend confronted him, he was extremely apologetic. He started to cry and he told you that his family is experiencing financial difficulties. He has begged your friend not to tell anyone. What do you advise your friend to do? What other information do you need to make a decision? Detecting Deception • Write down 10 job-related questions that you can ask that have yes/no answers (e.g., have you ever supervised someone?). • I will assign you a partner. • Ask each other your 10 questions. Answer all questions either honestly or lie – Asking? Keep track of whether the answer is true or a lie. – Answering? Keep track of which questions you lied about. Detecting Deception • How well did you do at detecting the deception? Better / worse than what you expected? • What were some telltale signs of deception? Detecting Deception • Write down 6 job-related questions that you can ask that are open-ended (i.e., do not have yes/no answers) • Ask each other your 6 questions. Answer all questions either honestly or lie – Asking? Keep track of whether you think that the answer is true or a lie – Answering? Keep track of what you lied about. Detecting Deception • How well did you do at detecting the deception? • What helped you to figure out the lies? Detecting Deception • Write down 3 questions that have open-ended answers • Use this structure: – Ask a very general question about the topic (e.g., tell me about your – Use some follow-up questions (i.e., probe for inconsistencies) – Confront the other person about any issues • Keep track of what you lied about Detecting Deception • How did it feel to be accused of lying when you were telling the truth? • How can you ensure that people believe what you say? Summary • Power is derived from many sources, but it requires that one party is dependent on the other • Reducing your dependency is one way to increase your power • Counterproductive workplace behaviors (CWBs) are unfortunately both common and costly. • However, they can sometimes be prevented, by managing employees’ attitudes and the organizational context. Relationships Trust, Job. Sat OCBs Justice Relational psych. Aff. Org. contract CWBs Commit. Romance of Teams • What was the main argument in the article? • What did you agree with? • What did you disagree with? • What else could the authors have focused on? • What is your overall assessment of the article? Individual differences in judging deception: Accuracy and Bias • What was the main argument in the article? • What did you agree with? • What did you disagree with? • What else could the authors have focused on? • What is your overall assessment of the article?