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Productive and Counterproductive behavior Analytical Essay


Individual team members in the organizational setting advance through different levels of competency and productiveness as they become integrated into the group environment (Britt & Jex, 2008). Different people become socialized differently depending on their personality and other personal characteristics. The way an individual integrates into the organizational culture can have a direct impact on his/her performance and the overall performance of the organization (Britt & Jex, 2008).

This paper seeks to analyze the relationship between productive and counterproductive behaviors. The paper will specifically define productive and counterproductive behaviors, describe the impact counterproductive behaviors can have on an organization, and finally recommend strategies that can be used increase productive behavior and decrease counterproductive behaviors.

Productive and counterproductive behaviors

Productive behavior can be defined as “the employee behavior that contributes positively to the goals and objectives of an organization” (Britt & Jex, 2008, p. 96). A new member who joins an existing organization is usually given a period of time to get accustomed to the organizational culture. Organizations often use personal characteristics such as innovative ability, job performance organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) to measure overall productive behaviors (Britt & Jex, 2008)

Innovative employees can positively impact an organization’s productivity through enhancement of organization procedures and improved performance. Efforts of employees that result into conceptualization of original processes that save production time, material cost, or manpower hours may positively contribute to the goals and objectives of the organization (Dunlop & Lee, 2004).

Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is described as behaviors of employees that are not necessarily captured in the work descriptions (Dunlop & Lee, 2004). OCB behaviors mainly come in the form of conscientious, courtesy, civic virtue among other qualities.

Researchers have a consensus that the goodwill produced by a mutually reinforced feeling of desire to receive and assist people is vital for the development of OCB. Job “performance basically entails the behaviors that employees engage in while at the place of work” (Britt & Jex, 2008, p. 97). Different organizations have their own ways of assessing job performance.

Counterproductive behavior can be defined as “behavior that explicitly runs counter to the goals of an organization” (Britt & Jex, 2008, p. 168). Counterproductive behavior can manifest itself several different ways. This may range from poor customer service to more serious offences such as criminal activity and violence (Dunlop & Lee, 2004).

The most common forms of counterproductive behaviors include inability of the employ to deliver on job performance, frequent cases of unexplained absenteeism and employ turnorver (Dunlop & Lee, 2004). Companies have formulated several strategies that are used to assess and attempt to improve poor performance by employees.

Some organizations use electronic performance monitoring systems to identify the different areas in which improvement is required. Train programs that may include on job coaching are always made available by the management to act as intervention mechanisms. Employee absenteeism is one of the commonest forms of counterproductive behavior.

Several researches have been carried out to establish the cause of absenteeism and many of them have revealed that the causes are largely varied. However, studies have also shown that companies that implement strict attendance policies usually have less cases of absenteeism (Dunlop & Lee, 2004).

Employee turnover can be regarded to be an organizational dysfunction especially if better performing employees are leaving. Employee turnover often requires organizations to repeatedly train their staff members. However, it can be beneficial sometimes, especially when highly paid, poor performing individuals decide to leave the organization (Britt & Jex, 2008).

The impact of behavior on an organization

Its important to note that majority of employees always want to post good result so as to be held in high esteem by their coworkers. Most employees realize that other than behaving appropriately at the organizational level, general wellness of their social contact can benefit the corporate environment on different levels (Dunlop & Lee, 2004).

If necessary training is given to employees and appropriate environment created to allow them to integrate smoothly into the organizational culture, then good performance is likely to be observed. Good performance, innovation and organizational citizenship behaviors may in turn increase the productivity of a company (Britt & Jex, 2008).

Counterproductive behaviors can be disadvantageous in several ways. Organizations loss revenues as a result of counterproductive behaviors that may range from petty cases such as theft and vandalism to more complex ones such as poor job performance and absenteeism.

Strategies for Increasing Productive Behaviors and decreasing counterproductive Behaviors

Research indicates that the feeling of efficacy and in-culturation are some of the most prominent predictors of satisfaction among employees (Britt & Jex, 2008). Many scholars advise that incoming employees should be sufficiently introduced to the organization culture through an effective orientation and socialization program (Dunlop & Lee, 2004). Additionally, organizations should implement strict policies that are necessary to deter absenteeism cases and cushion against employee turnover.

Companies can additionally develop personalities of their own and form entities of reputation that can offer model behaviors that are desired by the organization (Britt & Jex, 2008).


Britt, T. W., & Jex, S. M. (2008). Organization psychology: A scientist-practitioner approach. New York : John Wiley and Sons.

Dunlop, P. D., & Lee, K. (2004). Workplace deviance, organizational citizenship behavior, and business unit perfomance: the bad apples do spoil the whole barrel. Journal of Organizational behavior , 25:67-80.

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