Research Article - (2017) Volume 5, Issue 3

A Systematic Review on the Deviant Workplace Behavior

Mohd Nazri Baharom, Mohd Dino Khairi Bin Sharfuddin and Javed Iqbal*
Ghazali Shafie Graduate School of Government, University Utara Malaysia, Kedah, Malaysia
*Corresponding Author: Javed Iqbal, Ghazali Shafie Graduate School of Government, University Utara Malaysia, Kedah, Malaysia, Tel: +60 4-928 4000 Email:


The purpose of this paper is to highlight the concept deviant workplace behavior through review of previous studies on deviance workplace behavior area and understand the dynamics of deviant workplace behavior. The first, the researcher discuss the need for research in deviance workplace behavior of employees especially to understand the impact of various factors on deviant workplace behavior. Secondly, the research carried out with the review of previous literature from the area of deviance workplace behavior and presents the summary on review of the literature relevant antecedents of deviant workplace behavior and prevalence cost of DWB. The third, the current study is totally based on the secondary source of data based on various journal referred and collected from various websites. Finally, the study presents its implications, the future directions and its limitation and conclusion of the study with respect to deviant workplace behavior in public organizations.

Keywords: Deviant workplace behavior; Individual factors; Organizational factors; Demographic factors; Transformational leadership


In current era the study of the behavior of individual at workplace has been become imperative due to , industrialization and technological advancement [1]. Deviant workplace behavior (DWB) is one of the most vital research area that influencing the behavior of employees at workplace [2] and effecting the health of organization [3]. Deviance workplace behavior (DWB) is a vital concern for research due to its evolving [4] and growing level and possible outcome an influence [5]. Deviant workplace behavior (DWB) in not a fresh knowledge to discuss in corporate world [6] but resources which create deviance workplace behavior are still guiding new dimension to examine with the passage of time and circumstances. The literature review of various scholars has defined deviance workplace behavior [2] and clarify the outcomes of deviant workplace behaviors [7]. But studies regarding workplace deviance behaviors are still need be considered [3]. Destructive workplace deviant behaviors are one of the most important research topics affecting well-being of organizational norms and performance [3]. Deviant workplace behavior is considered a key problem for every organization [8]. Therefore, the understanding of these workplace behavior and work-related attitudes have become a significant research area [3] and emerging phenomenon [9]. Deviant workplace behavior, either internal or organizational, mostly occurred among the employees at workplace [9]. Deviant workplace behavior (DWB) has been studied under different terms such as retaliation and dysfunctional behavior, organizational misbehavior [10] and counterproductive workplace behavior [5]. In the words of Robinson and Greenberg [11] there is no common definition regarding workplace deviance that is generally agreed upon” due to initial stage of research area and cited the definition of two eminent scholars who have elaborate this construct of deviant workplace behavior (DWB), operationalized it and key dimension as well as recognized its boundaries [6]. Eminent research scholars Robinson and Bennett [12] defined deviance workplace behavior (DWB) as “a voluntary behavior engaged by employee that is contrary to the significant organizational norms and it is considered as a threat to the well-being of an organization and/ or its members”. Earlier researchers have given different expressions to the term deviance workplace behavior such as counterproductive workplace behavior [13] antisocial behavior organizational misbehavior, workplace sabotage [14], worker resistance, dysfunctional behaviour [15] and non-complaint behavior (Puffer) among others, “Bad Behavior” in Organizations [15]. According to Greenberg, “anti-social behavior” that is defined as “any behavior that brings harm or is intended to bring harm to the organization and its employees or its stakeholders” In the words of Robinson and Morrison, [16] “workplace deviance” that is defined as “voluntary behavior of organizational members that violates significant organizational norms and in so doing, threatens the well-being of the organization and/its members”. Deviant workplace behaviors (DWB) of employees are directly harmful to the organization or to other employees in the organization [17] that can range from relatively minor to very serious [18]. Griffin and Lopez [15] noted that all individuals who enter to working organizations have the potential to exhibit this destructive behavior that categories, minor and major deviance. The first, minor, production deviance [12], working slow intentionally, avails excessive breaks [8], gossiping on non-work topics with coworkers during official working hours, late arrival at workplace and leave office early, day dreaming while on job [8], and involved in cyber loafing [19]. The second major, production deviance as theft from organization, do slow work to obtain unnecessary due overtime, without receiving permission to use photocopy machines for personnel purpose, as well as taking office supplies or equipment at home [20,21]. On the other hand, interpersonal deviance, has also two categories, minor and major, the first, political deviance is making fun, deal rudely and blaming to coworkers for mistakes did on job, disobeying supervisor’s directions and instructions the second, personal aggression, (major) such as cursing, humiliating, bullying or stalking and saying hurtful things to coworkers and assaulting with injury to coworkers too [22].

Objectives of the Study

The main aim of this systematic review is to identify and describe the antecedents that push the employees to indulge in deviant workplace behavior. The second objective of this systemic review is to understand, define and explain the dynamics of DWB and factors contributed DWB. Third objective of this study is, to grasp the knowledge of the area under research related to mediating and moderating effect between deviant workplace behavior and various other factors. Fourthly, to understands the various theories supporting to theoretical prospective of the deviant workplace behavior. Fifthly, the study will also broaden the understanding of the previous research of DWB and allied area of study. And, finally, the present study on systemic review will create and established a Gap for further research in focus area for future researchers.

Research Methodology

Electronic searches were performed on data bases containing published studies on employee’s behavior i.e. deviant workplace behavior, counterproductive workplace behavior and unethical behavior etc. searches were limited to scientific papers/articles, available in full text and published in English during Jan 2000 to Oct 2017. The query was deviance workplace behavior, or deviant workplace behavior or counterproductive workplace behavior or misconduct at workplace or misbehavior or unethical behavior or violence at work. In addition, the reviews of literature have also been undertaken on the basis of five to six factors. They are individual factors i.e. Big five personality traits and dark triad personality traits and organizational factors i.e. organizational injustice, abusive supervision and transformational leadership and deviant workplace behavior or counterproductive workplace behavior. Empirical, original and review articles/papers were selected for current study and focusing on deviance workplace behavior. For the selection of articles/papers on DWB, four phases adopted. Firstly, identification, secondly screening based on the title and abstract reading. Thirdly, eligibility evaluation through full text readings and fourthly, inclusion of article in present paper on the base of empirical study or review on the focus area of DWB. Lastly, the study focuses on articles/papers found through Google and Google scholar search engine on the DWB and allied area.

Literature Review

Significance of the study

The present study will contribute to the academic literature on counterproductive workplace or deviance workplace behavior and enhance the understanding the of deviance behavior of employees among the researcher, practitioners and manager. The study will also explain reasons for occurrence of deviance at workplace in public organizations. Another important fact emerging from this literature “systemic review: is to establish the relationship between DWB and other moderating and mediating factors. The given below Table 1 explore the prevalence and cost of deviance at workplace [23-38].

Source Cost of DWB
Alam According to world economics forums estimates that “corruption is equal to 5% for global GDP with over US $1 trillion paid in bribes each year
Estimated between US $15-$20 billion of ODA is lost due to corruption in Africa region alone
In Pakistan one government officers is accused of corruption in the rupees 42 billion equal to US $420 million (Express tribune 2014)
Alias, Rasdi, Ismail and Samah [23], Bennett and Galperin [12,24] 71% responded reported to workplace incivility
Appellbaum, Semerjian and Mohan [25] Approximately 1.7 million Americans and 11% British employees experiences different type of bullying such as physically assault, on-verbal, threating, intimidating, humiliating, sabotage, interference with the production and exploitation at work place
Aliase cited Price Water House Coopers 51% of employees had fallen victim to fraud in 2003-2005 at workplace in Thai companies
Frauds have caused a decline in employee morale in 60% of Thai and Asia-pacific companies
Appelbaum, Semerjian and Mohan [25] Approximately 1.7 million Americans and 11 percent of British employees experienced Deviance of bullying at workplace
Bensimon Approximately 1.5 million Americans become works place victims of violence and organization, suffering a cost $4.2 billion annually
Bolton and Grawitch [26] Deviance at workplace is quite prevalent and costly to organization and
33.75 percent of all employees involved in some kind of deviance behavior
Buss [27] Loss of $200 billion for employees’ theft
$400 billion for different type of fraud
Case $50 billion loss estimated annually and is responsible for almost a 20% of failure of business due to counter workplace behavior such as employee’s theft and fraud
Chen U$ 2.9 trillion estimated annual losses as a result of fraudulent activity
Chappell and Martino [28] In Australia, employers incurred estimated costs between 6 and 13 billion Australian dollars annually on DWB acts i.e. theft and bullying
Coffin [29] Estimated 33% to 75% of all employees engaged in deviant behavior such as abuse against others/bullying, production deviance, sabotage, theft, withdrawal etc.
Cortina, Magley, Williams and Langhout [30] During the previous 5 years 71% of the respondents reported incivility in public service organizations in the United States, 6% of them reported to experience that negative behaviors
Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf and Cooper In most countries there seems to be a tendency for workplace deviance to occur more often in public sector
Goh [31] Estimated $300 billion total loss annually sustained due to employees absenteeism, theft and diminish productivity in United States
Harper [32] 1/3 to 3/4 of all employees engaged in some type of fraud, sabotage or Vandalism in their workplace
Hollinger and Adam Reported in 2010, US retailers endorsed nearly 45% of their inventory shortage which representing prevalence and burden of approximately $15.9 billion on retail business due to employee’s theft
Jacobson The united states suffer estimated $4.2 billion from workplace violence
$200 billion annually due to employees theft
Suffering $5.3 million due to the misuse of internet during working hours
KPMG Francis Approximately $2.1 million for each incident at work place reported in Australia
Lehman, Holcon and Simpson Estimated 25% of employees admitted having knowledge of drug use among their co-workers at workplace
Lim and Chen [33] In United Kingdom employees, spent about 40% of their time cyber loafing (Amble,2004) and incurred cost UK businesses about £154 million a year (Hallett 2002)
Malisetley and Kumari In India 1.7 Million Indian’s experiences rough exploitation at workplace yearly
12% of employees in IT Sector reported having been tormented at workplace in the earlier six months of a year
Estimated $15.1 billion lose every year in social rebuilding by IT commercial enterprises
In 2014, misrepresentation conferred by hierarchical individual cost of normal $2.1 million for every extortion occurrence an association encounters
McGurn 75 percent of employees have theft from their respective organization
Moorthy, Seetaram, Somassunderam and Goplan Organization lost estimated $20 to $40 billion per year due to stealing/theft and shoplifting by employees
Nguyen [34] In Canada, a study by the Conference Board of Canada reported that economy lost $16.6 billion in 2012 due to workplace deviance absenteeism
Penney and Spector [17] Businesses pay more than $150 billion annually for managing occupational stress of absenteeism of employees
Pizzino Surveys of public-sector employees of Canada and the U.S.A., 69% of employees responded that they had experienced some form of verbal aggression at workplace
Robinson and O. L. Kelly Z [35] $200 billion due to employee’s theft
$400 billion for various type of fraud act
Robinson and Greenberg [11] Bensimon [36] Organizations sustained estimated cost $4.2 billion annually due to workplace violence
Taylor [37] In U.K., estimated $600 million per year loss of productivity due to web surfing at workplace
Verton [38] 33% to 40% decline in productive due to surfing in activities of virtual space

Table 1: Summary of review of prevalence and cost of deviance workplace behavior.

The summary reveals the severity of prevalence and cost of deviance workplace behavior.

The given Table 2 shows the summary of all the studies that have been since long from 2000 so for on deviance workplace behavior of employees [39-112].

Source of article Study constructs and antecedents Moderator/Mediator Theoretical framework
Adejoh and Adejoh [39] Empirical study on organizational and individual destructive deviance NA NA
Agboola and Salawu [40] Case study on organizational and individual destructive deviance NA Field Theory
Ahmad and Omer [41] Literature review on organizational and individual destructive deviance Work family conflict Conservation of resource theory and Reactance theory
Ahmad, Kiyani and Hashmi [42] Empirical study on workplace deviance; Organizational Cynicism, organizational injustice Work alienation Breach of Psychological Contract
Abdul and Nasurdin [43] Aksu [44] Empirical study on organizational and individual destructive deviance Empirical study on organizational deviance and multi-factor leadership Trust in organization
(Mediator) and Locus of control
Social information processing theory, Social exchange theory and equity theory Theory of multifactor leadership
Alias, Rasdi, Said and Samah [45,23] Literature review on organizational and individual destructive deviance Job satisfaction (Mediator) Social Exchange theory and General Strain theory
Alias, Rasdi and Said [45] Empirical study on organizational and individual destructive deviance: individual, situational factors. NA NA
Ambrose, Schminke and Mayer [46] Empirical study on organizational and individual destructive deviance: Interactional justice, Group structure. Justice climate (Mediator) and Work group structure(Moderator) Social Learning theory, Structural Contingency theory, Justice theory and Uncertainty management theory
Appelbaum, Deguire and Lay [1] Literature Review on both positive and negative deviant Workplace behaviors; Ethical climate NA Social Learning theory
Appelaum and Shapiro Literature Review on both positive and negative deviant Workplace behaviors; Leadership, justice, satisfaction, commitment, bonding and normlessness NA Social Learning theory, Social Bonding theory, and Equity theory
Appelbaum,Iaconi and Matousek [2] Literature Review on organizational and individual destructive deviance; deviant role models, operational environment, individual personality ,justice and psychological empowerment NA Social Learning Theory, Social Bonding theory, Equity theory and Cognitive Social theory
Bagchi and Bandyopadhyay [47] Model testing on workplace deviance: Recession NA Becker’s framework
Bahri, Langrudi and Hosseinian [48] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Organizational justice, Interpersonal conflict and job satisfaction NA NA
Bodankin and Tziner [49] Empirical study on constructive and destructive deviance behavior NA Social Cognitive theory
Bolin and Heartherly [50] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Theft approval, Company contempt, intent to quit and dissatisfaction NA NA
Bolton and Grawitch, [26] Literature review on workplace deviance: Recommendation for practitioners to address DWB NA NA
Bowling and Eschlemaman [51] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Work stressor Employee personality Ethical climate (Moderator) Transactional theory of stress and coping
Chen, Chen, and Liu, [52] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Negative affectivity NA NA
Chen, Fahb and
Jina [53]
Empirical study on workplace deviance: perceived organizational support NA NA
Chirasha and Mahappa [54] Case study on deviant behavior in workplace: Organizational climate, Organizational justice, Perceived organizational support, Trust, Work stress and power lessens NA NA
Chullen et al. [55] Empirical study on deviant behavior: Supportive leadership: leader member exchange preserved organizational supports. Job design: Intrinsic motivation and depersonalization NA Leader Member Exchange theory, Social Exchange theory, Organization Support theory, Self-determination theory and Conservation of Resource theory
Chung and Moon [56] Empirical study on constructive deviance behavior: Psychological ownership Collectivistic orientation
Regularity focus theory. Social identity theory and Stewardship theory
Christian and Ellis Empirical study on workplace deviance; Moral disengagement and turnover intension - NA
Colbert et al. [57] Empirical study on workplace deviance; personality and work situations (perception of developmental environment) Conscientiousness, emotional stability Social Exchange theory, Norm of reciprocity and organizational support theory
Dagher and Junaid [58] Empirical study on constructive deviance behavior: Employs engagement vigor, dedication and absorption NA NA
De Lara, Tacoronte and Ting-Ding [59] Empirical study on deviance behavior: Procedural justice Perceived normative conflict Equity theory
Diefndorff and Mehta [60] Empirical study on workplace deviance behavior: Avoidance motivation, personal mastery, competitive excellence, general approach motivation - Achievement motivation theory
Demir [61] Empirical study on deviance behavior: Organizational justice, Organizational trust, affective commitment, continues commitment, nutritive commitment NA NA
Fagbohungbe,Akinbode and Ayodeji [62] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Employees organizational reaction NA Affective Event Theory and Agency Theory
Farasat and Ziaaddini [63] Review on deviance behavior: Farness of treatment, Supervisor support, organizational rewards and job condition NA Social exchange theory
Fatima, Atif, Saqib and Haider [64] Empirical study on workplace deviance; impact of organizational injustice on job
satisfaction and, to impact of job satisfaction on Deviance workplace behaviors.
Job satisfaction
Farhadi et al. [65] Empirical study on Deviant workplace behavior: Demographic Factors NA NA
Fida et al. [66] Empirical study on Counterproductive behavior; Moral disengagement NA NA
Ferris, Brown, Heller, [67] Empirical study on organizational deviance: Organizational support Organization based self-esteem (Mediator) Belongingness theory
Ferris, Brown [67] Empirical study on deviance behavior: Level (high and low) and type (contingent/ non-contingent) of self-steam Contingent self-esteem (Moderator) Self-Consistency/
Behavioral plasticity theory
Ferris, Spense, Brown and Helle [68] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Within personal relation of interpersonal justice Self-esteem (Moderator) Behavior plasticity theory, conservation of resources theory
Flaherty and Mass [69] Empirical study on workplace deviance behavior; personality. workplace injustice and team context NA Social exchange theory and Equity theory
Galperine and Burke [24] Golparvar et al. [70] Empirical study on destructive and constructive deviance behavior:
Empirical study on workplace deviance: Emotional exhaustion and deviant behaviors
NA Role of big five personality traits (Moderator) Social Exchange theory, Need for achievement theory, Locus of control theory and social bonding theory NA
Henle [71] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Justice Socialization impulsive NA
Holtz and Harold [72] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Interpersonal justice Interpersonal justice values and justice orientation (Moderator) Social exchange theory, social learning theory and extant theory, influential theory and effective events theory
Hussain [73] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Psychological contract NA NA
Ishaq and Shamsher [74] Empirical study on workplace deviance behavior: Psychological contract breach Revenge attitude and Self-Control (Moderating) Psychological contract breach
Iqbal, Baharom and Khairi [75] Empirical study on deviance workplace behavior: Transformational leadership NA NA
Iqbal, Baharom and Khairi [76] Empirical study on deviant workplace behavior: Demographic Factors - Social exchange theory, Social learning theory, psychological breach contract theory
Javed et al. [6] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Personality factor and organizational factors NA NA
Judge, Scott and Ilies [77] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Emotions and work attitude Trait hostility
Affective events theory
Kanten and Ulker [18] Empirical study on workplace deviance; NA NA
Kotekar [78] Empirical study on deviant workplace behavior: withdrawal intention NA NA
Kisamore et al. [79] Empirical study on workplace deviance: conflict and abusive workplace Social competencies (political skill, self-monitoring, and emotional intelligence) NA
Kura, Shamsudin, and Chauhan [80] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Organizational formal control Self-regulatory efficacy (Moderator) Stimulus response theory and social cognitive theory
Kura, et al. [81] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Precived injunctive, descriptive and self-regulatory efficacy affect and cognitions Self-regulatory efficacy (Moderator) Social learning theory and social efficacy theory
Lara et al. [82] Empirical study on workplace deviance: effect of procedural justice Perceived normative conflict (mediating variable) -
Lee and Allen [83] Lim et al. [33] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Affect (positive and negative Affect) and cognitions
Empirical study on workplace deviance Personality traits on workplace deviance
Mayer et al. [84] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Leader Mistreatment Hostility
(Mediator)and Competence uncertainty ((Moderator)
Social Exchange theory and Uncertainty Management Theory
Marcus and Schuler [85] Empirical study on counterproductive workplace behavior: 24 predictors of GCB NA Self-control theory. The General theory of crime,
Mount, Ilies and Johnson [86] Empirical study on workplace deviance: personality traits Job satisfaction
Social Exchange Theory
Muafi [87] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Intent to quit, dissatisfaction and company contempt NA Attribution theory, accountability theory and social distance theory
Nasir and Bashir [88] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Job satisfaction and organizational justice NA NA
Narayanan and Murphy [89] Review on workplace deviance behavior Culture (Moderator) Social Cognitive theory
Nirankari and Seth [90] Framework on deviant workplace behavior: conflict, justice perception, control, mental stress NA NA
Novalien [9] Conceptual framework on deviant workplace behavior: Ethical Climate and National Culture Workplace Spirituality and Organizational
Commitment (Mediators)
Omer et al. Empirical study on deviance workplace behavior: Job stress and Job satisfaction NA NA
Peterson [91] Empirical study on workplace deviance: organization’s ethical climate NA Ethical Theory
Peng, Tseng and Lee [92] Empirical study on deviance behavior: supervisor feedback environment and work related stressor NA NA
Pradhan [93] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Leadership (transformational and transactional) NA NA
Pradhan and Pradhan [93] Empirical study on deviance workplace behavior: Impact of transformational leadership Organizational Justice (Moderator) NA
Radzali, Ahmad and Omar [94] Empirical study on deviant workplace behavior; workload, job stress and family to work conflict NA NA
Raheem et al. Empirical study on deviance workplace behavior: Impact of Job Characteristics NA NA
Rogojan [95] Literature review on workplace deviance;
Individual, organizational and situational factors
and Xie [96]
Empirical studies on counterproductive work
Behavior: study 1 investigates whether CWB in China is described by similar or different behaviors as in the Western literature.
Study 2 examines the importance that Chinese managers place on task performance, OCB, and CWB.
- -
Satpathy, Patnaik and Mohanty [97] Review deviant workplace behavior NA NA
Silva and Ranasinghe [98] Empirical study on deviant workplace behavior: impact job stress, workload, Role conflict and
role ambiguity
Shazad and Mehmood Empirical study on workplace deviance: Organizational cynicism Burnout(mediator) and Negative affectivity Social exchange theory, Effort reward in balance theory and equity theory
Shaheen, Bashir, and Khan [99] Empirical study on Organizational
cronyism as an antecedent of
workplace deviance
Psychological breach of contract
Shahid & Ahmad [100] The empirical study of Impact of and the Deviant Workplace Behavior: Organizational Learning on Organizational Corruption Moral disengagement (Mediator) N/A
Sudha and Khan [101] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Personality and motivational traits NA NA
Sili et al. [102] Empirical study on Counterproductive Behavior and moral disengagement NA NA
Sunday [103] Empirical study on workplace deviance; Organizational Climate., Organizational justice Perceived organization support , Trust in organization, work stress and powerlessness NA NA
Thau and Mitchell [104] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Abusive supervision Self-regulation impairment Social exchange theory, self-regulation impairment theory and dissonance theory
Tziner et al. [105] Empirical study on constructive, innovative, Challenging and interpersonal deviance behavior NA Leader – member exchange theory
Tuclea et al. [106] Empirical study on deviant workplace behavior: investigation of Demission of DWB NA NA
Vadera, Pratt andMishra [107] Model on constructive workplace deviance: Intrinsic motivation, felt obligation and Psycho-logical empowerment NA NA
WU and Lebreton [108] Empirical study on Reconsidering the Dispositional Basis
Of Counterproductive work behavior: The Role of Aberrant Personality
Dark Triad Narcissism, Machiavellianism, Psychopathy NA
Waseem [109] Empirical study on organizational and interpersonal deviance workplace behaviors Job satisfaction
Yen and Teng [110] Empirical study on workplace deviance; Centralization Procedural Justice (Moderator) Social Exchange theory
Yunus, Khalid and Nordin [111] Empirical study on workplace deviance: Personality Trait NA Gough’s role- taking theory
Yildiz, Alpkan, Ates and Sezen [3] Review on constructive deviance: Psychological ownership, Participative decision making, Psychological ownership (Mediator) Social exchange theory and Equity theory
Yildiz and Alpkan [4] Theoretical model on the destructive deviant workplace behavior Alienation (Mediator) NA
Zaghini et al. [112] A systemic review on counterproductive work behavior of Nursing profession NA NA

Table 2: Summary of research published in the area of deviance workplace behavior


Future directions and limitations

Although, the present study has provided support for a number of the studies hypothesized on relationship among the exogenous, endogenous and intervening variables related to deviant workplace behavior. This study generally focuses on systemic review of individual factors i.e. personality traits and organizational factors i.e. organizational injustice and abusive supervision and transformational leadership. However, the outcome of systemic review of various studies on DWB have to be interpreted under consideration of the some study’ limitations: The first, this study assumes and adopts review of a crosssectional research design, majority of the studies based on adopted self-administrator questionnaire for collection of data and convenience sampling which does not allow casual inferences to be made from the targeted population. Therefore, a longitudinal research design in future needs to be considered to measure the theoretical constructs at different points in time to confirm and generalize the findings of the present study. Secondly, in the present study, it is pertinent to mention that the deviant workplace behavior reported was subjective. The outcome of the present research demonstrates that subjective data is valid and reliable for assessing deviant workplace behavior. Therefore, in future the outcome of the present research may be replicated by using objective measures of deviant workplace behavior. Thirdly, in previous studies deviant workplace behavior has been given various name i.e. counterproductive behavior (CWB), unethical workplace behavior and misbehavior etc. therefore, there are possible chances of missing of some publication/papers or article on DWB and that is not cover completely exhaustive of area of the study. Fourthly, the search strategy and quality of studies’ evaluation criteria would have been influenced by the results obtained in the adequate and eligible studies on secondary source of data. Fifthly, the outcome of present study offers quite limited generalizability because it focused mainly on five to six factors. Therefore, in future it is essential, in order to generalize the finding to include other relevant factors as antecedents and dimensions of DWB. Sixthly, the present systemic review containing the information related to dimension of DWD, moderating and mediating variable and supporting theories but not included the outcome of the empirical study, therefore, in the researcher should also in include the outcome/result of each empirical study in system review of literature. Finally, the outcome of this systemic review are not intended to be a final aim/goal in DWB understanding but as a stage for moving towards further research on the area of DWB. It is pertinent to mention that DWB cannot be eradicated however, it can be control or minimize with suitable measures being to be taken.


The current study has provided additional indication and evidence to the growing body of knowledge in deviant workplace behavior area. Despite of some limitations of present study, the results from the study lend support to the theoretical propositions, key objectives and answered research questions and provide Gap for future research on the area of DWB. In spite of, there have been number of studies carried out to examining the underlying antecedents and causes of deviant workplace behavior and factors contributing DWB. However, this study addressed the theoretical gap by incorporating deviant workplace behavior and transformational leadership as moderating variable between individual factors contributing deviant workplace behavior in detail. The present study also lends support to theoretical and empirical framework for the moderating role of transformational leadership on the relationship between individual and deviant workplace behavior. The outcome of this study “systemic review” also provides important practical implication to the researcher and professional to carry out further research in the DWB. In spite of the some limitations of the present study, several recommendations, directions and guidelines for future research has been drawn in this study and the practitioners and researchers can examine and clarify these testable relationships.


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Citation: Baharom MN, Sharfuddin MDKB, Iqbal J (2017) A Systematic Review on the Deviant Workplace Behavior. Review Pub Administration Manag 5: 231.

Copyright: © 2017 Baharom MN, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.