Date of Award

5-1-2019

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Schmidt, Kathleen

Abstract

Counterproductive work behavior (CWB) is deliberate behavior by employees that harms the interests of their organization or its members. Previous research suggests that job stress, including a variety of individual job stressors, lead to CWB (e.g., Penney & Spector, 2005; Fox, Spector, & Miles, 2001; Spector, Fox, & Domagalski, 2006) and that CWB is an ineffective coping strategy for dealing with job stress (Shoss, Jundt, Kobler, & Reynolds, 2015). Job crafting is a form of individual-level job redesign that has been shown to reduce the negative effects of stress, but less is known about job crafting’s relationship with CWB or whether it could function as a more effective coping mechanism for job stress. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of job crafting as a moderator of the relationship between job stress and CWB. Additionally, this study examined job crafting’s relationship to CWB and to five common job stressors: interpersonal conflict, workload, job insecurity, role ambiguity, and organizational constraints. Three hundred participants completed a two-part online study through Amazon Mechanical Turk, the first of which assessed participants’ experience of the job stressors of interpersonal conflict (Interpersonal Conflict at Work Scale; Spector & Jex, 1998), workload (Quantitative Workload Inventory; Spector, 1998), organizational constraints (Organizational Constraints Scale; Spector & Jex, 1998), job insecurity (Job Insecurity Scale; Mauno, Leskinen, & Kinnunen, 2001), and role ambiguity (Role Ambiguity Scale; Rizzo, House, & Lirtzman, 1970). The first study session also assessed participants’ work locus of control (Work Locus of Control Scale; Spector, 1988) and negative affectivity (Negative Affectivity subscale of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988). The second study session was conducted five days after the first study session and assessed participants’ frequency of engagement in CWB (CWB-Checklist; Spector et al., 2006) and frequency of job crafting (Job Crafting Scale; Tims, Bakker, & Derks, 2010). Correlation and hierarchical regression analyses were utilized to test for relationships among these variables and moderation effects. The results showed that composite job stress (the combined, average score across each of the job stressor scales) and each of the five job stressors individually were significantly, positively correlated with CWB. However, within the hierarchical regression analyses, only composite job stress, interpersonal conflict, workload, and role ambiguity were significant predictors of CWB. In addition, job crafting did not predict CWB or moderate the effects of composite job stress or any of the five individual job stressors on CWB. These results suggest that job stress does lead to CWB, but job crafting is likely neither an effective coping mechanism for job stress nor an effective means of reducing CWB in organizations.

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