9 terms

7. Workplace Deviance

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factors for workplace deviance
Career vs. Survival Jobs - employees dissatisfied with workload increases and organizational failure to recognize merit may retaliate through "reciprocal deviance" at work. On the other hand, a career indicates the degree of commitment to one's current job as a long-term employment trajectory.

Data shows that employees have performed (~theft, fraud) or experienced (~sexual harassment, physical threats) deviant acts in their workplace.

Research suggests a wide range of reasons why employees engage in deviant behavior:
(1) Perceived injustice
(2) Dissatisfaction
(3) Role-modelling
(4) Thrill-seeking

Yet, deviant organizational behavior is distinct in that it is usually behavior that is very constrained in the workplace.
age and gender differences in workplace deviance
(1) Males generally report committing significantly more acts of employee theft and other deviance than females.

(2) Age is also correlated with employee misconduct, with younger workers more likely than older workers to engage in workplace deviance. Hollinger (1986) found age to be the most significant predictor of involvement in general employee deviance.
shifting paradigm of workplace deviance: euthanasia
Although suicide is not an offence in Singapore, attempted suicide and abetting of attempt suicide can be seen as a crime under the Penal Code.

Argument: Singapore should decriminalise assisted suicide performed by physicians on terminally-ill patients facing imminent death, suffering unbearably, and holding the conviction that there is no other reasonable solution for the situation they are in.

Those for this argument state:
(1) Role of the criminal law
(2) Autonomy
(3) Consistency in the law
(4) Dying a dignified death
(5) Practical considerations

Those against this argument state:
(1) Sanctity of life
(2) Medical ethics
(3) Worrying effects of legalisation
deviantizing space
(1) Closure of Nanyang University in 1980. Nanyang University was the site of student political activism. In response to a Security Branch crackdown on left-wing student leaders on 26 September 1963, large numbers of students at Nanyang University barricaded the grounds and a riot ensued, resulting in injuries sustained by both students and policemen.

(2) Golf and Singapore - space used for golf courses have been up for contention if whether it is a "deviant" use of space as there could be other uses for it, despite arguments that it is good for health and recreation.
deviant music
Late 1980s - early 90s saw attempts at the appropriation of "Western" music.

2000s onwards saw "more enlightened" approaches by state and other moral entrepreneurs.
»» Religious institutions adopting new approaches as well
»» "State-engineered" rap (PCK, MDA Upper Mgmt rap). Argued to be the state's "hegemonic player (broadcast media), valiantly co-creating with and co-opting the grassroots through appropriating rap for its presumed accessibility to larger demographics and disseminating this (eventually over the Internet) via a music video (narrow-cast media)".
interpersonal deviance in the workplace
Can occur when misconduct "target(s) specific stakeholders such as coworkers". Behaviour falling within this subgroup of employee deviance includes gossiping about coworkers and assigning blame to them. These minor (but unhealthy) behaviours, directed at others, are believed to occur as some employees perceive "a sense of entitlement often associated with exploitation".

In other words, they feel the need to misbehave in ways that will benefit them.
organizational deviance
Organizational deviance encompasses [production and property deviance]. Workplace-deviant behaviour may be expressed as tardiness or excessive absenteeism. Typically occurs when deviant behaviour is aimed directly at the organization. Such behaviours have been cited by some researches as withdrawal behaviours that allow employees to withdraw physically and emotionally from the organization.

(1) Property deviance - where employees acquire or damage the tangible property or assets of the work organization without authorization (e.g., the theft of tools, equipment, or money from the workplace)

(2) Production deviance - behaviours which violate the formally proscribed norms such as the minimal quality and quantity of work to be accomplished (~tardiness, drinking on the job)
deviance as "weapons of the weak"
Deviance can also be seen as a way for the weak to fight back/rebel. Everyday forms of resistance occur in repressive states where institutional politics are not accessible nor desirable in fulfilling their needs, although their actions are often covert and go unnoticed. The peasants adopting such acts cut across political lines and often adopt such measures whether they are Barisan National supporters or PAS supporters.

This includes acts such as: foot dragging; theft of chickens of pro-elite households; burning of mechanized tractors that threaten their livelihood as manual workers; ostracization of people who do not follow the social norms and values of resistance.
formal vs. informal control
Data confirms that employee deviance is more constrained and influenced by the reaction of one's fellow workers, and not management, with regards to establishing normative limits on acceptable range of workplace behaviours.

Hence, if an employee is not involved in deviant acts against the organization, that involvement may be largely deterred by the perception that fellow workers would not approve of his or her deviance.

Even so, formal management sanctions do have a social control effect on deviance in the workplace by indirectly influencing the existing informal normative structure. Policies and procedures unilaterally enacted by management will only be effective in constraining the employee if they are also simultaneously reflected in the informal normative consensus of the work force.
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