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Book Review: Misbehavior in Organizations

Misbehavior in Organizations: A Dynamic Approach. By Yoav Vardi and Ely Weitz. Routledge;; 334 pages; $59.95.

Employee behavior in the workplace has always been difficult to assess and interpret for management. Understanding employee misbehavior can be even more baffling. 

The second edition of Misbehavior in Organizations: A Dynamic Approach offers an in-depth and scholarly view on key issues such as harassment, academic fraud, bullying, negative workplace interactions, and organizational misbehavior. The research described outlines a truly dynamic approach to organizational misbehavior—this literature is rarely discussed openly, and is often tiptoed around in today’s workplaces.

The authors of this book developed an original integrative organizational misbehavior (OMB) framework in previous academic works. This text looks at the empirical literature that has become available over the past 10 years. It begins by providing readers with an overview of the general framework for OMB analysis, describing research that directly relates to the phenomenon of critical and negative behavior at work.

The advantage of this work is its foundation in evidence-based research, both conceptual and theoretical. One of the most engaging parts of the book, “Measurement Dilemmas in OMB Research,” highlights key cases illustrating incidents ranging from minor misbehavior to serious violence.

One shortcoming is the sparse content on cyberbullying and bullying, which the authors indicate are on the rise. It is imperative for employees to feel safe and accepted in the workplace. They must believe that management, human resources, and others will discuss issues as they arise. The book does describe management’s role in managing these behaviors both by words and exemplary conduct; surprisingly, managers are sometimes the bullies.

Ultimately, this advanced book will educate researchers, organizational leaders, and practitioners in a wide variety of fields, from law enforcement to human resources. Routledge;; 334 pages; $59.95.

Reviewer: Thomas Rzemyk, Ed.D., is a professor of criminal justice at Columbia Southern University and director of technology and cybersecurity instructor at Mount Michael Benedictine School. He is a criminology discipline reviewer in the Fulbright Scholar Program and a member of ASIS.