Is it 'who I am', 'what I can get away with', or 'what you've done to me'? A multi-theory examination of employee misconduct

Journal of Business Ethics 57 (4):389 - 398 (2005)
Research on detrimental workplace behaviors has increased recently, predominantly focusing on justice issues. Research from the integrity testing literature, which is grounded in trait theory, has not received as much attention in the management literature. Trait theory, agency theory, and psychological contracts theory each have different predictions about employee performance that is harmful to the organization. While on the surface they appear contradictory, this paper describes how each can be integrated to increase our understanding of detrimental workplace behaviors.Deborah L. Kidder is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at Towson University, in Towson, MD, USA. Her Ph.D. is in Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesta. Her research interests involve issues of trust and equity, perceptions of (un) fairness at work, and the consequences of (un)fair treatment for employees and organizations. She teaches courses in Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, Leadership, and Negotiation.
Keywords agency theory  deviance  honesty  psychological contracts  trait theory
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DOI 10.2307/25123488
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