A Ripe Apple in a Rotten Barrel: An Interactionist Examination of Pro-Social Rule Breaking

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

2016 Southern Management Association Conference Proceedings

First page number:


Last page number:



Pro-socialrule breaking, a collection of deviant behaviors enacted to assist others, has been conceptualized as a type of constructive deviance and suggested to offerbenefits to organizations as well as stakeholders. However, the findings to date suggest that these behaviors are performed by employees w ith less than ideal characteristics. In response, through the use of a multi-w ave field study, we use role identity theory to argue and find support for our repositioning of the construct such that positively deviant behaviors are the actions of good employees – those w ho are imaginative and confident in their abilities w hile holding salient empow erment identities – how ever they are within a context they perceive to be highly political and overseen by unsupportive leaders. In doing so, w e address several shortcomings in the deviance research and, through the examination of a true interactionist model, w e answerthe call by severalresearchers to consider the contextual factors that influence the performance of pro-social rule breaking. Further, w e begin the process to transition the construct fromthe early exploratory design to theorydriven refinement.


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations



Search your library