The Relationship Between Tattoos and Employee Workplace Deviance

Michael J. Tews, Kathryn Stafford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


While those adorned with tattoos have historically belonged to deviant subpopulations, tattoos today are certainly more widespread. With this mainstreaming of tattoos, the question arises whether the deviant stereotype persists and extends to today’s workplace. To address this issue, the present study examined the relationships between tattoos and organizational and interpersonal workplace deviance with a sample of 518 individuals employed in restaurant settings. Whether or not an employee was merely tattooed was not related to either form of deviance. However, greater tattoo number was associated with greater organizational deviance. In addition, the results suggest that being adorned with “darker” tattoos was related to both types of deviance, although the effect sizes were not large. The significant findings held even after controlling for the employees’ agreeableness and conscientiousness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1043
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Hospitality and Tourism Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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