The Positive Effects of a Deviant Coworker

Picture: Flickr, uberphot (CC

Even more possible evidence that the weirdos of the world provide crucial social utility! Researchers at Wichita State University have published their findings in the Journal of Social Psychology.

Via Discover Magazine‘s Discoblog:

“Drawing on the labeling perspective of deviance, we investigate employee reactions to coworkers perceived as deviants. We look at two positive effects for employees in the presence of a deviant coworker. First, in comparison to a deviant individual, other employees can draw more positive conclusions about themselves; and second, a deviant can be informative about organizational norms, thereby improving employee role clarity. We also examine individual and situational moderators. For the purpose of the study, we developed a measure of the presence of a deviant. The hypothesized relationships were tested in two large samples using multiple regression analyses. The results revealed that in the presence of a deviant coworker, employees reported enhanced self-evaluation. The presence of a deviant coworker was associated with better role clarity only for employees with more interdependent jobs. We also discuss practical implications of the findings and future research directions.”

Read more.

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  • kowalityjesus

    This is the original doctrine of diversity.  People who are able to bounce their norms off of different norms have more resources to draw on to dictate avenues of thought and method.

    Someone somewhere along the line turned this from “people with different backgrounds, thought patterns, or motivations” into “people who look dissimilar.”  Oftentimes these are synonymous, but sometimes they are not.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    The results revealed that in the presence of a deviant coworker,
    employees reported enhanced self-evaluation.
    The presence of a deviant coworker was associated with better role clarity
    only for employees with more interdependent jobs.

    Probably explains why there are so many deviant bosses,
    better productivity from the non-deviants.

  • Simiantongue

    I get the impression on Disinformation that deviance is the norm. So the few present who are not deviant are the deviant here. I’m not deviant, but you are, clearly. Yes you. 

  • Simiantongue

    I get the impression on Disinformation that deviance is the norm. So the few present who are not deviant are the deviant here. I’m not deviant, but you are, clearly. Yes you. 

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