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Moderating effect of perceived situational strength on the relationship between the dark triad and counterproductive work behaviors

Koçoğlu, Öykü
Counterproductive Work Behaviors (CWBs) can be defined as intentional and harmful behaviors of employees that are against the organization, members of the organization or both. The literature provides a link between CWBs and the Dark Triad personality traits which consist of three antagonistic traits: Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy. Individuals who are high on the Dark Triad characteristics engage in more deviant workplace behaviors than their non-dark themed counterparts. It was hypothesized that situational strength, which inhibits and shapes people’s behaviors and thus minimizes individual differences in displayed behaviors, moderates the relationship between the Dark Triad characteristics and CWBs. This study used six facets (clarity, consistency, constraints, consequences, group norms, performance monitoring) to assess situational strength and two facets (interpersonal and organizational) to assess CWBs. Moderation analysis results partially supported the hypothesis as situational strength moderated specific the Dark Triad and CWB relationships. More specifically, group norms moderated all three Dark Triad traits and interpersonal CWB relationship, and the relationship between psychopathy and organizational CWB. Clarity moderated these three traits and organizational CWB relationship. In addition, consistency moderated organizational v CWB’s association with Machiavellianism and psychopathy.