Employees behaving badly: social liabilities at work
The impact that negative or distracting others (social liabilities) have on individuals in the workplace should not be underestimated. The purpose of this research was to develop a broad, theoretically derived measure of Employee Social Liability (ESL). Three linked studies were conducted to 1. generate a pool of potential items to measure the ESL construct, 2. systematically reduce this item pool, and 3. analyse the factor structure and provide a nomological network for ESLs. We provide empirical evidence that ESL represents a higher-order construct incorporating four categories of employee behavior in the domains of 1) distrust, 2) lack of cooperation, 3) increased social demands, and 4) negative relationships at work. Psychometric support is provided for a new survey measure designed to assess both the four ESL facets and the higher level construct. These sub-scales were found to have internal reliabilities ranging from .82 to .94. Finally we provide a nomological network for the ESL construct, demonstrating both discriminant validity and convergent validity with i) one’s own bad workplace behaviors, ii) emotional intelligence, and iii) having supportive managers and work friends. Limitations and practical implications conclude the article.