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Constructive Deviance in Organizational Behavior

BaşlıkConstructive Deviance in Organizational Behavior
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsRidic, O, Abdul, WA
Conference NameSecond Sarajevo International Conference by
Volume2
Edition2
Number of Volumes2
Pagination492-498
Date Published05/2016
PublisherInternational University of Sarajevo (IUS), Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)
Place PublishedSarajevo
ISSN Number978-9958-27-301-8
Other Numbers23013126
Abstract

Scientific researchers have shown a high interest to study the concept of deviance in workplaces. The research problem of this review article is to review the causes of constructive deviant behavior in the workplaces. Worldwide decentralization, flexibility, and stronger performance orientation pressure management and employees to become more creative, more productive, and more involved in the performance and survival of the organization. In order to do so, workers may need to deviate from the norms or informal rules of the organization in ways that benefit the reference group and its members, that is, they need to engage in constructive deviance through applications of the hyper-norms. Additionally, this research study explores one of two streams of workplace deviance; which is constructive deviance type. In the managerial science literature, a constructive stream of deviance is recognized as the positive conduct, such as: whistle-blowing, organizational dissent and functional disobedience in the organizations. On the other hand, a destructive stream of deviance is depicted by negative conduct and attitude in organizations, including: alcoholism, corruption, and theft. Studies have shown that deviance is the reaction of workers to organizational policies, such as: economic, social environment and working conditions. As far as the research methodology is concerned, a thorough literature review of secondary sources of data was conducted to assess trends, look for deficiencies, draw current conclusions and do recommendations for the future. Review of secondary sources of data (books, peer-reviewed journal articles, internet publications, etc.) was performed. Finally, this study reviews how this phenomenon and its causes influence the job performance of workers. The conclusion of this study depicts a multifaceted phenomenon, and its impact is increasing as the time progresses. This paper concludes that the research approaches still appear to be fragmented and poorly integrated and that the overarching insight into constructive deviance is rather limited. The future and stability of the market system may be influenced by the willingness of the employees to exhibit these behaviors when internal management fails to address its underlying trigger causes. 

URLhttps://fba.ius.edu.ba/sites/default/files/second_sarajevo_international_conference_kapak_ici_volume_1_july_3_2016.pdf
DOI
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Full Text

CONSTRUCTIVE DEVIANCE IN ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR

 

Ognjen Ridic

Assist. Prof. Dr., Faculty of Business Administration (FBA),

International University of Sarajevo (IUS), Sarajevo, Bosnia &Herzegovina (B&H)

Abdul Wahab Aidoo

Ph.D. Student, Faculty of Business Administration (FBA), International University of Sarajevo (IUS), Sarajevo, B&H

 

ABSTRACT

Scientific researchers have shown a high interest to study the concept of deviance in workplaces. The research problem of this review article is to review the causes of constructive deviant behavior in the workplaces. Worldwide decentralization, flexibility, and stronger performance orientation pressure management and employees to become more creative, more productive, and more involved in the performance and survival of the organization. In order to do so, workers may need to deviate from the norms or informal rules of the organization in ways that benefit the reference group and its members, that is, they need to engage in constructive deviance through applications of the hyper-norms. Additionally, this research study explores one of two streams of workplace deviance; which is constructive deviance type. In the managerial science literature, a constructive stream of deviance is recognized as the positive conduct, such as: whistle-blowing, organizational dissent and functional disobedience in the organizations. On the other hand, a destructive stream of deviance is depicted by negative conduct and attitude in organizations, including: alcoholism, corruption, and theft. Studies have shown that deviance is the reaction of workers to organizational policies, such as: economic, social environment and working conditions. As far as the research methodology is concerned, a thorough literature review of secondary sources of data was conducted to assess trends, look for deficiencies, draw current conclusions and do recommendations for the future. Review of secondary sources of data (books, peer-reviewed journal articles, internet publications, etc.) was performed. Finally, this study reviews how this phenomenon and its causes influence the job performance of workers. The conclusion of this study depicts a multifaceted phenomenon, and its impact is increasing as the time progresses. This paper concludes that the research approaches still appear to be fragmented and poorly integrated and that the overarching insight into constructive deviance is rather limited. The future and stability of the market system may be influenced by the willingness of the employees to exhibit these behaviors when internal management fails to address its underlying trigger causes.

Keywords: deviance, constructive deviance, workplace, hyper-norms, deficiencies

JEL Classification:M10, M12, M14

 

I. INTRODUCTION

The regular occurrences and costs associated with odd conducts in organizations have made the study into this field inevitable. Scientific researchers are interested in studying the concept of deviance in workplaces while management is making all possible efforts to curb such phenomenon to befall in organizations (Lawrence & Robinson, 2007).

As part of the contemporary management literature, two research avenues on deviant behavior exist, however, these two streams are not integrated. One stream castsdeviant behavior in a negative light, emphasizingemployee rule breaking that leads to organizationalharm.In contrast, the second stream of literature emphasizes the positiveforms of deviant behavior for organizations. Thisresearch highlights beneficial deviant behavior,such as dissent, tempered radicalism, whistleblowing,functional disobedience, and exercisingvoice (Warren, 2003).

Studies have shown that deviance is the reaction of workers to organizational policies, such as economic, social environment and working conditions (Lawrence & Robinson, 2007). This study reviews the causes of constructive deviant behavior at work. Again, this research study explores one of two streams of workplace deviance that is constructive deviance(Warren, 2003). In the managerial literature, aconstructive stream of deviance is recognized as positive conduct, such as whistle-blowing, organizational dissent and functional disobedience in organizations(Brief, Buttram,& Dukerich, 2001).

 

  1. II.                LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1.Approaches to Constructively Deviant Behavior

In the sociological context, researchers have recognized two approaches to defining deviant behavior in organizations. Sociological theorists have identified behavioral approach and labeling approach(Becker, 1963). According to the study by Merton (1949) the searching for and execution of appropriate measures to achieve the goal of society has the potential to cause deviant behavior among individuals. There is a disagreement among individuals as to which method and/ or procedure are feasible to achieve the goals of the society(Merton, 1949).

 

In the sociological literature, labeling approach to deviant behavior has been categorized into two bases on the actions and outcomes of the individual, thus the positive and negative deviance behaviors. The positive deviance behavior is considered as actions which have beneficial outcome while negative deviance behavior is recognized as conducts that render negative outcomes to society (Becker, 1963). The positive and negative deviance behaviors that were identified by social theorists fails to recognize that there are unique behaviors that give rise to deviance in society. This will pose a challenge to future social researchers (Warren, 2003) who would be interested in delving into this phenomenon.

 

 

  1. III.             DISCUSSION

3.1.Constructive Deviance

Researchers have come out with numerous definition of constructive deviance. The meaning of deviance in theorganization has taken another dimension. It has does not only portray the negative but positive attitudes in organization and society at large. From the compilation of forty definitions of behavior considered as deviance, two of them appeared to have apositive connotation. Further, researchers have thrown light on the concept of deviance in theorganization through statistical means. This is where the behavior of an individual or group is far above the normal expectation. This is represented in a graph, where the constructive deviance is captured in extreme right representing the normal spread of behaviors(Spreitzer & Sonenshein, 2004).

Figure 1. A Statistical Approach to Deviance

 

Source: Spreitzer, G. M., & Sonenshein, S. (2004). Toward the Construct Definition of Positive Deviance. American Behavioral Scientist. 47(6), 828-847.

 

From the graph above, it is realized that positive or constructive deviance is located at the extreme right, in the middle is normal behavior and negative or destructive deviance is located at extreme left. In the field of academics, the likes of Albert Einstein and Terence Tao are touted as statistical deviance. In the arena of chess, the likes of Magnus Carlsen and Gary Kasparov are considered as statistically deviant. Magnus is the 12-year-old boy who competed with the reigning world champion of chess, Kasparov, in 2004 and the result was a draw (C., 2011).

 

Constructive deviance could also be viewed through hyper-norms. Thus, universally accepted shared norms, beliefs and values that are incognizant with the need of individuals (Warren, 2003). The assumption of Warren is that the reference group are the beneficiary of constructive deviance. The focus of the outcome of the deviant behavior is tilted to both individuals in theorganization and the society at large (Donaldson & Dunfee, 1994). 

According to Galperin (2002) constructive deviance can be expressed as intentionally behaving in a manner against the rules and values of the organization but that has significant benefit to the individuals in the organization. For instance, the whistle-blower and bringing creativity in theorganizations (Baer, Leenders, Oldham, & Vadera, 2010). Individuals in theorganization develop apersonal attraction to the work and will put up an attitude to improve the organization (Yildiz, Alpkan, Ates, & Sezen, 2015). Constructive defiance can be explained as “intentional behaviors that depart from the norms of a referent group in honorable ways” (Spreitzer & Sonenshein, 2004). In this case, the referent group determines the characteristic features of behavior that envelopes the “honorable ways”(Near & Miceli, 1985).

 

3.2.Causes of Constructive Deviant Behavior

Constructive deviance is a very multidimensional and complex concept which is composed of many variables. Comprehensive literature research had crystallized the following contributing organizational behaviors, such as: devotion to taking charge, creative performance, raising voice in a proactive and constructive manner, whistle-blowing, extra role taking, engagement in pro-social behaviors, pro-social rule breaking, counter-role behavior, and issue selling (Vadera, Prat, & Mishra, 2013).

In the context of research on contributors of constructive deviant behaviors (CDB), it is important to note the following organizational behavior levels. There are individual, dyadic/group, team – as the more advanced and cohesive type of group; and finally, its highest, organizational level. This paper will also emphasize that the extensive secondary/literature review had shown the emergence of three OB mechanisms which contribute to CDB: 1.) intrinsic motivation, 2.) felt obligation, and 3.) psychological empowerment (Vadera, Prat, & Mishra, 2013).

 

IV. METHODOLOGY

As far as the research methodology is concerned, a thorough literature review of secondary sources of data was conducted to assess trends, draw current conclusions and do recommendations for the future. Review of secondary sources of data (books, peer-reviewed journal articles, internet publications, etc.) was performed.

 

 

V. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

            Worldwide decentralization, flexibility, and stronger performance orientation pressures employees to become more creative, more productive, and more involved in the performance and survival of the organization. In order to do so, workers may need to deviate from the norms or informal rules of the organization in ways that benefit the reference group and its members, that is, they need to engage in constructive deviance. This paper concludes that the research approaches still appear to be fragmented and poorly integrated and that the overarching insight into constructive deviance is rather limited. The conclusion of this secondary research study depicts a multifaceted phenomenon, and its impact is increasing as the time progresses. The future and stability of the market system may be influenced by the willingness of the employees to exhibit these behaviors when internal management fails to address its underlying trigger causes. Additional primary and secondary research ought to be undertaken in order to better reveal those findings that are inconsistent across subfields of constructive deviance. Finally, the conclusive finding points out to the fact that additional research work is needed to better understand obstacles to and consequences of constructive deviance.        

 

REFERENCES

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