When is Employee Retaliation Acceptable at Work? Evidence from Quasi- Experiments
41 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2005 Last revised: 14 Jun 2010
Date Written: July 20, 2004
When is sabotage acceptable? We use a quasi-experimental design to study the acceptability of several forms of rule-breaking at work. In addition to hypotheses from theories of fairness, we find retaliation is perceived as more acceptable if it is an act of omission instead of an act commission and if it is in the same "domain" as the employer's bad act. Pilfering goods and services is more acceptable than taking money, while damaging property is least acceptable. Respondents who are older, female, politically conservative, and managers typically show less tolerance for acts of sabotage, while union members are union members a bit more accepting than average.
Keywords: Perceived fairness, Sabotage, Retaliation, Omission, Commission, Domains of reciprocity, Labor relations
JEL Classification: A13, B49, J28, J39, J50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation