Consistency theory and ego-defense theory have been used to examine the relationship between counterproductive work behavior (CWB) and self-esteem; however, these two theoretical approaches pose different directions for the expected relation. In line with this, previous research concerning the relationship between self-esteem and CWB has found inconsistent empirical results. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the relation between self-esteem and counterproductive behavior at work and draw conclusions about the merit of the competing theories. This study also examines the type of self-esteem as a potential moderator to this relationship.
The authors performed a psychometric meta-analysis of the relation between self-esteem and CWB using 21 correlations with a total n of 5,135.
The estimated population correlation was −0.26. The moderator analyses showed that global self-esteem had a stronger relation with CWB than organization-based self-esteem.
The relation between self-esteem and counterproductive behavior at work is important to organizations for two reasons. First, CWBs are very costly at all levels of the organization. Second, organizations and managers have some control over the level of their employee’s self-esteem.
Previous research has used both consistency theory and ego-defense theory to make predictions concerning the self-esteem and CWB relationship. This paper provides support for examining this relation using consistency theory due to the negative correlation the authors found between CWB and self-esteem.
Whelpley, C. and McDaniel, M. (2016), "Self-esteem and counterproductive work behaviors: a systematic review", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 850-863. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-01-2014-0008Download as .RIS
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