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What Influences a Person to Indulge in Positive Deviance from Rules at a Work Place

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,283 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,967 Views

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From the literature review it can be seen that rule violation has been discussed mostly on organizational misbehaviour (Vardi &Weiner, 1996). Organizational misbehaviour according to them could be classified into three categories

(a) Type S, misbehaviour that intends to benefit the self

(b)Type O, misbehaviour that intends to benefit the organization and

(c) Type D, misbehaviour that intends to inflict damage

In their recent book, which provides a review and integration of much of this literature, Vardi and Weitz defined organizational misbehaviour as "acts in the workplace that are done intentionally and constitute a violation of rules pertaining to such behaviour". One thing that is common to the researches done before is that all highlight the undesirable and destructive nature of rule violation, and motives such as dissatisfaction, alienation, low commitment to the organization, feelings of injustice, self-interest, and available opportunities to "take advantage of" the organization (Vardi & Weitz, 2004). Rules are assumed to be functional, and thus employees who fail to follow them are assumed to be self-interested or focused on personal gain or trying to inflict harm on the organization.

Here in our study we are trying to portray a different perspective of rule breaking as it may not always be due to some self interest of lead to undesirable consequences. Rule breaking may be motivated by the desire to do one's job better or to do what one believes to be appropriate in a given situation (Morrison, 2006). Rule breaking is sometimes, and perhaps often, pro-social rather than solely self-interested or malevolent. Pro-social rule breaking can be defined as intentional violation of a formal organizational policy, regulation, or prohibition with the primary intention of promoting the welfare of the organization or one of its stakeholders. Such behaviour reflects a desire to do things better or to "do good" in the context of one's organizational role.(Morrison,2006)

Pro social behaviour was defined by Brief and Motowidlo (1986) as acts performed with the intention of promoting the welfare of another individual, a group, or the organization. Pro-social behaviour may also benefit the self, but the primary drive behind it is other-focused. Thus, an act of rule violation would qualify as a pro-social act if there was a strong element of "other-focus" even if self-focus also plays a role. Conversely, an act of rule violation would not be considered pro-social if the motive was primarily, or solely, to benefit the self or to inflict harm.

Sims (2002) concluded that employees who report high levels of job and organizational satisfaction also reported lower levels of likelihood of ethical rule breaking within the organization. This concept may be explained by


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