Affective Well-Being and Counterproductive Behavior in Healthcare Housekeepers

Michael Urick, Thomas Cline, John Gnecco, Danielle Jackson


In a study of two samples, (a group of healthcare housekeepers and a group of non-housekeeper healthcare employees), counterproductive work behavior was found to be greater for the housekeepers. This sample reported not being likely to experience strong emotions, thereby calling into question the assumption that negative affect is related to deviance at work. This study makes several contributions including: (1) suggesting that stigmatized groups may become emotionally immune to negative stereotypes; (2) identifying a relationship between emotio- nal apathy and counterproductive work behaviors; and (3) suggesting that dirty work roles engage in counterproductive work behaviors uniquely based on particular job duties. Implications, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: dirty work, counterproductive work behavior, affective well-being, stigma

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