Do HR System Characteristics Affect the Frequency of Interpersonal Deviance in Organizations? The Role of Team Autonomy and Internal Labor Market Practices



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    •  The author’s affiliation is Department of Management, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA. E-mail: Support for this research was provided by an R. B. Pamplin Faculty Summer Research Grant. I benefitted from comments from Trish Boyles and Peter Bamberger on previous versions of this paper.


Current research on determinants of interpersonal deviant behaviors in organizations, including incivility, bullying, and sexual harassment has focused primarily on the effects of individual-level characteristics while neglecting inter-organizational differences in human resource (HR) systems that shape the context for employee interactions at work. Using data from a nationally representative survey of over three hundred U.S. work establishments, I find empirical support for theory-based predictions that organizations with HR systems characterized by greater use of internal labor markets and less team autonomy are associated with lower frequencies of reported interpersonal deviance behaviors than those that rely on external labor markets and self-managed teams.