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Dilek Ucok1
  • 1 Dogus University, Dogus University, Istanbul, Turkey

The relationship between alexithymia and counterproductive behaviors in the workplace

2023. Vol. 13. No. 2. P. 37–52 [issue contents]
Purpose. The concept of alexithymia which is expressed as individuals having difficulty defining, regulating, and expressing their emotions, is believed to be on the rise in organizational life. It is argued that it is not possible for employees who have difficulty defining their emotions to build positive relationships in the workplace. Therefore, this study aims to investigate whether alexithymia has an impact on counterproductive work behaviors. Study design. Data were collected through the convenience sampling method from 334 employees working in public and private sector organizations in Turkey. The mean age of the participants is 34.1 years, the mean seniority in the profession is seven years, and the mean seniority in their organizations is three years. The data was collected through asurvey form. The Counterproductive Work Behaviors Scale (CWB) and Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) were used in the data collection tool. Findings. The study revealed that alexithymia has a significant contribution to counterproductive work behaviors. Moreover, it was found that alexithymia has a stronger contribution to organizational deviance (Cwb-O) than employee deviance (Cwb-P). As a result of the simple regression analysis carried out to determine to what extent the sub-dimension of alexithymia predicts counterproductive work behaviors in the workplace. “Having difficulty recognizingand verbalizing emotions” significantly predicted counterproductive work behaviors towards the organization (β = .65, t = 15.7, p = .00) and counterproductive work behaviors towards the employee (β = .42, t = 8.52, p = .00). Value of results. The findings of the study will provide a new perspective on counterproductive work behaviors in organizations and contribute to the industrial and organizational psychology literature as it is the first study in Turkey regarding the relationship between alexithymia and counterproductive work behaviors.

Citation: Ucok D. (2023) The relationship between alexithymia and counterproductive behaviors in the workplace. Organizational Psychology, vol. 13, no 2, pp. 37-52.
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