Getting Even for Customer Mistreatment
AbstractResearch on the “dark side” of organizational behavior has determined that employee sabotage is most often a reaction by disgruntled employees to perceived mistreatment. To date, however, most studies on employee retaliation have focused on intra-organizational sources of (in)justice. Results from this field study of customer service representatives ( = 358) showed that interpersonal injustice from customers relates positively to customer-directed sabotage over and above intra-organizational sources of fairness. Moreover, the association between unjust treatment and sabotage was moderated by 2 dimensions of moral identity (symbolization and internalization) in the form of a 3-way interaction. The relationship between injustice and sabotage was more pronounced for employees high (vs. low) in symbolization, but this moderation effect was weaker among employees who were high (vs. low) in internalization. Last, employee sabotage was negatively related to job performance ratings.