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Rethinking Misbehavior and Resistance in Organizations

Rethinking Misbehavior and Resistance in Organizations.


Alison Barnes, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Lucy Taksa, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia


This is the most authoritative book on misbehavior at work since 1999, featuring a collection of scholars whose expertise lies in understanding organizational misbehavior. In, what some may consider, a period of widespread behavioral innovation, with new outlets challenging more traditional forms of misbehavior, this book provides a significant contribution to the field of Human Resource Management.

This book challenges understandings of organisational misbehavior by looking beyond traditional conceptions of the nexus between misbehaviour and resistance in the workplace. Reconsidering misbehaviour from a range of different perspectives and disciplinary traditions, including history, employment relations, sociology, management, entrepreneurship, marketing, legal studies and film studies, this book examines behaviours not only of workers but also of managers, entrepreneurs and consumers.

The book begins with an overview by one of the leading scholars of misbehavior, Stephen Ackroyd (Lancaster University): Even More Misbehavior: What Has Happened in the Last Twenty Years? reviewing the study of the phenomenon, followed by conceptual reconsideration of the relationship between misbehavior and resistance in a changing industrial landscape. The remainder of the book traverses dimensions of misbehavior and resistance across time and geographical space through a number of case studies that examine behaviours in a range of different places, industries and sectors. In this way it extends analysis to actors outside of the workers who have largely been the focus of existing studies. This work will add to the emerging body of evidence that disturbs assumptions of consensus and conformity in organisations.

Topics covered

The book delivers a series of compellingly creative contributions including:

Still ‘Staying Loose in a Tightening World’? Revisiting Gerald Mars’ Cheats at Work  Dr Louise Thornthwaite (Macquarie University) and A/Prof Peter McGraw (Macquarie University)

Naming, condoning and shaming: Interpreting employee assessments of behaviour and misbehavior in the workplace  Professor Lucy Taksa (Macquarie University)

Mr Taylor Goes to Hollywood: Misbehavior in Film and TV
Professor George Lafferty (University of Western Sydney)  

Customers Behaving Badly! A/Prof Lawrence Ang and Professor Scott Koslow (Macquarie University)

Exploring Entrepreneurship as Misbehavior Dr Erik Lundmark (Macquarie University) and Professor Alf Westelius (Linköping University, Sweden). View this chapter

View the complete Table of Contents

Summary of findings from the book:

  • This book identifies a number of changes in the type of misbehaviour being experienced in industry today versus the norms experienced twenty years ago
  • It discusses the impact that technological improvements have had on misbehaviour, including cyber-bullying and the managerial surveillance of work
  • Stephen Ackroyd, a renowned expert on organizational misbehavior suggests there appears to be more misbehaviour developing today, at least in terms of the range and variety of types, rather than less, and argues organizations should be concerned if there is no apparent misbehaviour
  • The book also finds that there is an overlap between the way misbehaviour is defined and the way entrepreneurship is conceptualised in the literature
  • The book also investigates consumer misbehaviour, and discusses 'can the customer always be right if the customers also lie, cheat, steal, harass and abuse?'
  • One chapter discusses how customer service workers keep their cool when dealing with 'misbehaving' customers.

Additional Information:


The book is most relevant for faculty and researchers studying organizational / industrial psychology and behaviour. Those studying consumer behaviour may also find this book useful.


To request an inspection copy for possible course adoption, email [email protected], with details of the intended course.

This book is Volume 19 of the series Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations. If you’d like to enquire about this series or arrange a standing order, email [email protected]

Book Information

ISBN Print: 9781780526621
Publication Date: 05 December 2012
Format print: Hardback
Page count: 380
Dimensions: 156 x 234

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