The role of integrity and personality in counterproductive work behaviour

Hunter, William Frederick Johannes Richard (2014-04)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Organisations attempt to select employees that will make an effective contribution towards organisational performance. Traditionally, the emphasis was on selecting new staff on the basis of cognitive and behavioural attributes, which are linked to positive constructs such as technical competence, involvement, commitment and productivity. More recently, the domain of staff selection has widened to include the selection of individuals who would avoid counterproductive work behaviours. Based on previous studies, this study investigated the three most dominant constructs in this domain, i.e. personality, integrity and counterproductive work behaviour. The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between selected personality dimensions and integrity, and how these personality dimensions and integrity are related to counterproductive work behaviour. Based on the existing literature, a theoretical model depicting how these constructs are related to one another was developed and a number of hypotheses were formulated. The data for this study were obtained via questionnaires from a non-probability sample in the South African retail and security industries. The total sample size consisted of 1176 non-managerial employees and job applicants. The postulated relationships were empirically tested using various statistical methods. Reliability analyses were done on all the measurement scales and adequate reliability was found. The content and structure of the measured constructs were investigated by means of confirmatory, and where necessary, exploratory factor analyses. The results indicated that reasonable fit was achieved for all the refined measurement models. Subsequently, Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was used to determine the extent to which the conceptual model fitted the data obtained from the sample and to test the relationships between the constructs. In line with previous research, the results indicated positive relationships between conscientiousness and integrity, and adjustment and integrity. Negative relationships between neuroticism and integrity and fearfulness and integrity were found. Contrary to the literature, agreeableness showed a negative relationship with integrity and external locus of control and personalised power showed non-significant relationships with integrity. In line with the literature, positive relationships were found between neuroticism and counterproductive work behaviour, external locus of control and counterproductive work behaviour, personalised power and counterproductive behaviour. Negative relationships were found between conscientiousness and counterproductive work behaviour, and integrity and counterproductive work behaviour. Contrary to the literature, positive relationships were found between adjustment and counterproductive work behaviour, and agreeableness and fearfulness showed non-significant relationships with counterproductive work behaviour. The present study contributes meaningfully to existing literature on personality, integrity and counterproductive work behaviour by providing insights into the nature of the relationships amongst these constructs. The study also specifies practical implications to be considered by management in order to enhance integrity behaviour and to reduce counterproductive behaviour in organisations. The limitations and recommendations provide additional insights and opportunities to be explored through future studies.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Organisasies poog om werknemers aan te stel wat ‘n doeltreffende bydrae tot organisatoriese werkverrigting sal lewer. Voorheen was die klem hoofsaaklik op die keuring van personeel aan die hand van positiewe konstrukte soos vakkundige bedrewenheid, sowel as kognitiewe en gedragseienskappe, byvoorbeeld betrokkenheid, verbondenheid en produktiwiteit. Die fokusgebied van personeelkeuring het egter onlangs verder uitgebrei sodat teen-produktiewe werksgedrag as ‘n bykomende konstruk ingesluit is. Hierdie studie fokus op die drie mees prominente konstrukte op hierdie terrein, naamlik persoonlikheid, integriteit en teen-produktiewe werksgedrag. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die verwantskap tussen bepaalde persoonlikheidsfaktore en integriteit te ondersoek en vas te stel hoe die gekose persoonlikheidsfaktore en integriteit met teen-produktiewe werksgedrag verband hou. ‘n Teoretiese model wat aandui hoe die verskillende konstrukte met mekaar verband hou, is op grond van die bevindings wat in bestaande literatuur vervat is, ontwikkel. Verskeie hipoteses is geformuleer. Die data vir hierdie studie is deur middel van vraelyste ingesamel. ‘n Nie-waarskynlikheidsteekproef in die Suid-Afrikaanse kleinhandel- en veiligheidsektore is gebruik. Die totale steekproef het bestaan uit 1176 persone in nie-bestuursposte asook werkaansoekers. Die gepostuleerde verwantskappe en die konseptuele model is empiries met behulp van verskeie statistiese metodes getoets. Betroubaarheidsontleding van die relevante meetinstrumente is gedoen en voldoende betroubaarheid is gevind. Die inhoud sowel as die struktuur van die konstrukte is ontleed aan die hand van bevestigende en, waar nodig, verkennende faktorontleding. Die resultate het redelike goeie passings vir al die hersiene metingsmodelle getoon. Vervolgens is Struktuur-Vergelykings-Modellering (SVM) aangewend om te bepaal in hoeverre die konseptuele model die data pas, en om die verwantskappe tussen die verskillende konstrukte te toets. Ooreenkomstig vorige navorsing is positiewe verwantskappe gevind tussen toegewydheid en integriteit, en tussen aanpassing en integriteit; negatiewe verwantskappe tussen neurotisisme en integriteit, en vrees en integriteit; positiewe verwantskappe tussen neurotisisme en teen-produktiewe werksgedrag, eksterne lokus van kontrole en teen-produktiewe werksgedrag; verpersoonlikte mag en teen-produktiewe werksgedrag; negatiewe verwantskappe tussen toegewydheid en teen-produktiewe werksgedrag, en integriteit en teen-produktiewe werksgedrag. Teenstrydig met vorige navorsing is ‘n negatiewe verwantskap gevind tussen inskiklikheid en integriteit. Ook teenstrydig met vorige navorsing is onbeduidende verwantskappe gevind tussen inskiklikheid en teen-produktiewe werksgedrag, eksterne lokus van kontrole sowel as verpersoonlikte mag en integriteit, asook tussen inskiklikheid, vrees, en teen-produktiewe werksgedrag, en aanpassing en teen-produktiewe werksgedrag. Hierdie studie vul die bestaande literatuur aan ten opsigte van persoonlikheid, integriteit en teen-produktiewe werksgedrag deurdat dit insig verskaf betreffende die aard van die verband tussen hierdie konstrukte. Die studie noem ook praktiese implikasies wat deur bestuur oorweeg kan word om bestuurspraktyke te verbeter ten einde integriteitsgedrag te verhoog, asook teen-produktiewe werksgedrag te verminder. Die beperkings van die studie wat uitgelig word en aanbevelings wat gemaak word, verskaf bykomende insig en moontlikhede wat in toekomstige navorsing ondersoek kan word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86570
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