Title

Dark traits, social loafing and team member exchange: who slacks and when?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2021

Publication Title

Management Research Review

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to examine the workplace team member self-reported social loafing (SL) in relation to the dark triad personality traits of Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy. The moderating effect of team member exchange (TMX), a social contextual factor, on each proposed dark trait-SL relationship was also examined. A person X situation interactionist perspective was adopted. Design/methodology/approach: American employees were recruited to complete surveys consisting of previously published, validated and reliable scales. Correlations and hierarchical regressions were used to test the study hypotheses. Findings: As hypothesized, all positive dark trait-SL relationships were supported. TMX moderated the Machiavellianism-SL and psychopathy-SL relationships, as hypothesized. Unexpectedly, TMX was not found to moderate the narcissism-SL relationship. Originality/value: Findings imply increased managerial monitoring costs when supervising employees with elevated levels of dark traits. This is especially so when workers are assigned to team tasks and SL is a concern. To alleviate loafing tendencies, the nurturing of high-quality TMX relations among employees with elevated levels of traits Machiavellianism and psychopathy likely moderates the positive Machiavellianism- and psychopathy-SL relations. The emerging SL literature that accounts for both personality and situation, the dark trait-deviant workplace behavior literature stream and research evidencing the ability of TMX to remedy problematic characteristic behaviors are all extended by the present research.

Department

Management, Marketing, and Logistics

Volume Number

44

Issue Number

12

First Page

1583

Last Page

1598

DOI

10.1108/MRR-10-2020-0624

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