Gender and the Dysfunctional Workplace

Gender and the Dysfunctional Workplace

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Suzy Fox and Terri R. Lituchy

Dysfunction in the workplace, like a bully culture, affects women and men differently. This book represents a broad spectrum of disciplines including law, management, communications, human resource management and industrial/organizational psychology and offers integrative, cross-disciplinary inquiries into the many roles gender plays in organizational dysfunction. The authors provoke new questions and new streams of research, with the ultimate goal of contributing to healthier workplaces for men and women alike.

Chapter 3: The Role of Gender and Attributional Style in Counterproductive Aggressive Work Behaviors

Jeremy Mackey and Mark J. Martinko

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, gender and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


Jeremy Mackey and Mark J. Martinko Counterproductive work behavior (CWB) is behavior that “consists of volitional acts that harm organizations and people in organizations” (Fox and Spector, 2010). Most definitions of CWBs recognize that CWBs are generally “characterized by a disregard for societal and organizational rules and values” (Martinko et al., 2002). Counterproductive work behaviors include behaviors like organizational aggression, deviance, revenge, retaliation, harassment, bullying, conflict, learned helplessness, victimization, and abusive supervision. It is difficult to predict which employees will become victims or perpetrators of CWBs or when CWBs will occur. We theorize that a combination of individual differences among employees and the characteristics of the work environment interact to elicit individuals’ attributions about the causes of workplace events. These causal ascriptions then serve as the stimuli that motivate CWBs. In this chapter we explain and explore how gender and attributional processes are related to individuals’ tendencies to engage in CWBs. We begin with a description of attribution theory and attributional styles. Then we explore gender differences in an attributional context. Next, we review a number of counterproductive work behaviors and discuss how attributional styles are related to individuals’ tendencies to become victims or perpetrators of CWBs. Throughout the chapter we develop testable propositions. We conclude with a discussion of the limitations and contributions of an attributional perspective of the role of gender differences in CWBs. 43 Columns Design XML Ltd / Job: Fox-Lituchy_Gender_and_Dysfunctional_Workplace 15/2 / Division: 04-chapter03 /Pg. Position: 1 / Date: JOBNAME: Fox & Lituchy...

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