Title

When Does Self-Esteem Relate to Deviant Behavior? The Role of Contingencies of Self-Worth

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

Researchers have assumed that low self-esteem predicts deviance, but empirical results have been mixed. This article draws upon recent theoretical developments regarding contingencies of self-worth to clarify the self-esteem/deviance relation. It was predicted that self-esteem level would relate to deviance only when self-esteem was not contingent on workplace performance. In this manner, contingent self-esteem is a boundary condition for self-consistency/behavioral plasticity theory predictions. Using multisource data collected from 123 employees over 6 months, the authors examined the interaction between level (high/low) and type (contingent/noncontingent) of self-esteem in predicting workplace deviance. Results support the hypothesized moderating effects of contingent self-esteem; implications for self-esteem theories are discussed.

Keywords

self-esteem, contingent self-esteem, organizational deviance, plasticity theory, self-consistency theory

Discipline

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Human Resources Management

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Journal of Applied Psychology

Volume

94

Issue

5

First Page

1345

Last Page

1353

ISSN

0021-9010

Identifier

10.1037/a0016115

Publisher

American Psychological Association

City or Country

USA