Research on workplace sabotage - implications for social disorder and riots

Research at the University of British Columbia on workplace sabotage.....

  • people experiencing feelings of envy were significantly more likely to report committing sabotage when experiencing weak relationships with co-workers.
  • envious participants reported low sabotage incident rates when they felt they were more strongly connected to their workmates.
  • moral disengagement is most likely to occur when an envious co-worker feels disconnected from others in the workplace

A second peice of research on a sample of 267 students found that.

  • that students who reported feelings of envy and low levels of identification with their workgroups were significantly more likely to report committing acts of sabotage when they belonged to groups which reported high rates of sabotage as a whole.
  • Therefore if a workplace seems to be permitting sabotage, those who are inclined toward subversive behaviour will be more likely to follow through.

The research parallels some of the debate following the riots in August

- weak relationships with the rest of society - social underclass, unemployment, low levels of education and literacy blocking entry into workforce

- envy - bankers salaries, MPs expenses cited

- group norms - people more likely to adopt the behaviour of a group