When is Employee Retaliation Acceptable at Work? Evidence from Quasi- Experiments

41 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2005 Last revised: 14 Jun 2010

See all articles by Gary Charness

Gary Charness

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics

David I. Levine

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 20, 2004

Abstract

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

Charness, Gary and Levine, David Ian, When is Employee Retaliation Acceptable at Work? Evidence from Quasi- Experiments (July 20, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=648730 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.648730

Gary Charness

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

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David Ian Levine (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-1697 (Phone)
510-643-1420 (Fax)

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