Table of Contents

Research Companion to Emotion in Organizations

Research Companion to Emotion in Organizations

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Neal M. Ashkanasy and Cary L. Cooper

This Companion brings together many leading scholars to address a wide range of topics in 38 chapters, across five levels of organizational analysis – including within-person, between-person (individual differences), relationships, groups, and the organization as a whole. Chapters tackle structure and measurement of emotion, antecedents and consequences of positive and negative emotions, including effects on work satisfaction and performance. The expression, recognition, and regulation of emotion and the propagation of mood and emotion in groups are also dealt with. The Companion explores contemporary issues including leadership, organizational climate and culture, as well as organizational change.

Chapter 11: Emotions and Counterproductive Work Behavior

Lisa M. Penney and Paul E. Spector

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour


Lisa M. Penney and Paul E. Spector Introduction Counterproductive work behavior (CWB) has been a topic of great interest to organizational scientists and practitioners alike. These behaviors have long been recognized as detrimental to the overall well-being of organizations and the people in them. Hence, a profusion of theories and studies have been put forth to increase our understanding of and ultimately aid in controlling these behaviors. The most commonly used models acknowledge the pivotal role that emotion plays in many of these behaviors. This chapter will begin with a general overview of CWB followed by a presentation of the available research on the role played by emotions. The review will be organized in terms of how the research fits into each of two frameworks within the emotion literature: cognitive appraisal theory and emotion regulation. Finally, limitations and suggestions for future research in this area will be discussed. Counterproductive work behavior CWB refers to ‘volitional acts that harm or are intended to harm organizations or people in organizations’ (Spector & Fox, 2005, p. 151). It includes a wide range of behavior such as arguing with others at work, making threats, withholding information, purposely working slowly, stealing, wasting time, withholding effort, performing work incorrectly, taking longer breaks and calling in ‘sick’ when not ill. Other terms have also been used to describe this broad set of employee behavior including: workplace aggression (Baron & Neuman, 1996), workplace deviance (Robinson & Bennett, 1995), organizationmotivated aggression (O’Leary-Kelly et al., 1996), organizational retaliatory behaviors (Skarlicki & Folger, 1997)...

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