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					        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?

				
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