Using the theory of reasoned action to predict organizational misbehavior

Yoav Vardi*, Ely Weitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A review of literature on organizational behavior and management on predicting work behavior indicated that most reported studies emphasize positive work outcomes, e.g., attachment, performance, and satisfaction, while job related misbehaviors have received relatively less systematic research attention. Yet, forms of employee misconduct in organizations arc pervasive and quite costly for both individuals and organizations. We selected two conceptual frameworks for the present investigation: Vardi and Wiener's model of organizational misbehavior and Fishbein and Ajzen's Theory of Reasoned Action. The latter views individual behavior as intentional, a function of rationally based attitudes toward the behavior, and internalized normative pressures concerning such behavior. The former model posits that different (normative and instrumental) internal forces lead to the intention to engage in job-related misbehavior. In this paper we report a scenario based quasi-experimental study especially designed to test the utility of the Theory of Reasoned Action in predicting employee intentions to engage in self-benefitting (Type S), organization-benefitting (Type O), or damaging (Type D) organizational misbehavior. Results support the Theory of Reasoned Action in predicting negative workplace behaviors. Both attitude and subjective norm are useful in explaining organizational misbehavior. We discuss some theoretical and methodological implications for the study of misbehavior intentions in organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1040
Number of pages14
JournalPsychological Reports
Issue number3 PART 2
StatePublished - Dec 2002


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