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When the bored behave badly (or exceptionally)

Mark Skowronski (McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 3 February 2012




The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between workplace boredom and voluntary work behavior.


The author integrates multidisciplinary theory and research findings to create a process model to guide researchers and practitioners.


Extant literature on boredom coping and interest self‐regulation suggests that individuals often find ways to increase stimulation when feeling bored. This paper discusses how such interest enhancement strategies have both harmful and helpful effects on organizations.


This paper explores situational characteristics and individual differences that moderate boredom's effects on counterproductive work behavior and organizational citizenship behavior. A model with testable propositions is provided. Understanding how employees cope with boredom may lead to new insights for increasing motivation and productivity.



Skowronski, M. (2012), "When the bored behave badly (or exceptionally)", Personnel Review, Vol. 41 No. 2, pp. 143-159.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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