Minimizing Deviant Behavior in Healthcare Organizations: The Effects of Supportive Leadership and Job Design
Chullen, C Logan
Dunford, Benjamin B
Boss, R Wayne
Boss, Alan D
Journal of healthcare management / American College of Healthcare Executives 2010 Nov-Dec; 55(6): 381-97; discussion 397-8
In an era when healthcare organizations are beset by intense competition, lawsuits, and increased administrative costs, it is essential that employees perform their jobs efficiently and without distraction. Deviant workplace behavior among healthcare employees is especially threatening to organizational effectiveness, and healthcare managers must understand the antecedents of such behavior to minimize its prevalence. Deviant employee behavior has been categorized into two major types, individual and organizational, according to the intended target of the behavior. Behavior directed at the individual includes such acts as harassment and aggression, whereas behavior directed at the organization includes such acts as theft, sabotage, and voluntary absenteeism, to name a few (Robinson and Bennett 1995). Drawing on theory from organizational behavior, we examined two important features of supportive leadership, leader-member exchange (LMX) and perceived organizational support (POS), and two important features of job design, intrinsic motivation and depersonalization, as predictors of subsequent deviant behavior in a sample of over 1,900 employees within a large US healthcare organization. Employees who reported weaker perceptions of LMX and greater perceptions of depersonalization were more likely to engage in deviant behavior directed at the individual, whereas employees who reported weaker perceptions of POS and intrinsic motivation were more likely to engage in deviant behavior directed at the organization. These findings give rise to specific prescriptions for healthcare managers to prevent or minimize the frequency of deviant behavior in the workplace.
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