Validating the systematic observation of counterproductive work behaviors on social networking.

The existence of counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs) on social networking websites (SNWs) was investigated. The goal of the study was to determine whether previously validated relationships associated with CWBs, namely, stress, gender, and skill level, could be ascertained via qualitative coding of the public profiles found on SNWs. To record whether accounts of CWBs are displayed on social networking sites, a coding sheet was developed that analyzed public profile pages found on Facebook. Analyses found that more than half (50.54%) of the observed profile pages displayed accounts of CWBs and that each profile, on average, displayed more than 1 CWB-related post (M = 1.39, SD = 1.92). A positive correlation between CWBs and stress, r(184) = .48, p < .001, was also found, suggesting that displays of stress online correspond to higher displays of CWBs. A significant gender difference was also found, t(185) = 3.37, p < .001, which indicated that men, on average, M = 1.93, SD = 2.23, reportedly engage in almost twice as many CWBs compared with women, M = .98, SD = 1.53. Further, when CWBs were compared by skill level, individuals in unskilled jobs reported more CWBs, F(1, 139) = 5.34, p = .022, and stress, F(1, 139) = 3.39, p = .011, than those in skilled jobs. These findings largely support the idea that CWBs can be analyzed through SNWs that provide employers the ability to utilize CWBs as a preemployment screening tool that helps to identify both counterproductive and potentially illegal work behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)