Fit and Frustration as Drivers of Targeted Counterproductive Work Behaviors: A Multifoci Perspective

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Abstract

In this article, the authors integrate the theory of work adjustment (Dawis, England, & Lofquist, 1964) and the stressor emotion model of counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs; Spector & Fox, 2005) to examine workplace frustration as an intervening mechanism that mediates relations between person-environment (P-E) fit and CWBs. Moreover, we adopt a multifoci perspective to estimate effects for multiple fit, frustration, and CWB foci. We examine the nature of relations between fit, frustration, and CWB for like foci (target similar effects), as well as cross-foci effects. Study 1 examines proposed effects in a sample of 447 employee-coworker dyads. Study 2 uses a 3-wave survey design and tests effects in a sample of 669 employees. Results from both studies suggest that (a) frustration mediates the effects of P-E fit on CWBs and (b) the most consistent effects were observed among the variables with matching foci. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

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