Are Counterproductive Work Behavior and Withdrawal Empirically Distinct? A Meta-Analytic Investigation

Nichelle C. Carpenter, Christopher M. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The purpose of this meta-analysis was to clarify the current understanding of the relationship between counterproductive work behavior (CWB) and withdrawal. First, we articulate theoretical and conceptual reasons for the confusion on important issues, such as their conceptualization, labeling, and measurement. Second, we conduct a meta-analysis between current CWB and withdrawal measures. We found that, as measured, CWB and withdrawal are strongly related and have patterns of nomological relationships with common correlates that are nearly identical. The relationship between organizational-target CWB and withdrawal is particularly strong. The results suggest that withdrawal may be best represented as a facet in the hierarchical model of CWB, perhaps even as a facet of organizational-target CWB. We also discuss important avenues and needs for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-863
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


  • construct validity
  • counterproductive work behavior
  • meta-analysis
  • withdrawal behavior


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