Reconsidering the dispositional basis of counterproductive work behavior: The role of aberrant personality

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Interest in the study of aberrant behaviors has coincided with widely publicized scandals involving unethical behaviors of individuals in organizations. Consequently, the literature in the organizational sciences has been increasingly focused on counterproductive and deviant behaviors such as aggression, sabotage, or theft and how individual differences can predict such behaviors. As such, research linking personality to counterproductive work behaviors has grown substantially over the last 10 years. However, the majority of this research has relied on traditional personality traits as the dispositional antecedents of such counterproductive behaviors (e.g., the global traits comprising the five factor model). A different yet possibly fruitful framework with which to examine the link between individual differences and counterproductive work behaviors is through the use of aberrant personality traits. The importance of focusing attention on aberrant traits in relation to counterproductive work behaviors is highlighted through a review of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy, followed by a variety of research hypotheses designed to spur future research in these and related areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-626
Number of pages34
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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