Emotional Basis of Organizational Vandalism: A Theoretical Model

Keywords: vandalism, vandal behavior, destructive behavior, deviations, organizational vandalism, corporate sabotage, aggression, company personnel, emotions, behavior


Introduction. This paper considers the possibility of explaining organizational vandalism through personality emotional manifestations in employees. Despite the fact that company employees often cause considerable damage to its material, information, and social environment, little attention has been devoted to studying such a form of destructive behavior in adults. Previous studies have taken into account only disparate data on employees’ aggressive manifestations in the workplace (corporate sabotage, mobbing, negligence, etc.). In the scientific literature, scant attention has been paid to the predictors of adult vandalism and formation mechanisms of this type of human interaction with the organizational environment. This reduces the potential effectiveness of the programs and measures designed to prevent and combat vandal behavior in employees. This study introduces the concept of ‘organizational vandalism’ among company employees and attempts to discover its emotional basis.

Theoretical Basis. The ‘organizational vandalism’ concept and the model of its emotional basis were developed using the method of theoretical modeling. The authors relied on Plutchik’s evolutionary theory of emotions to describe the emotional basis of organizational vandalism. This enabled them to correlate emotions experienced by individuals in organizational environments with various vandal behaviors provoked by them.

Results. The model of organizational vandalism developed by the authors included eight basic types of employees’ vandalism related to primary (basic) emotions. These were aggressive, existential, conformal, incidental, reactive, and environmental types of vandalism and also vandalism of incompetence and vandalism of alienation. ‘Mixing’ primary emotions leads to more complex emotional experiences, which form the basis for certain types of employees’ vandalism in the workplace including vandalism of modernization and also its possessive, curious, vindictive, ‘cynical’, panic, and competitive types.

Discussion. The proposed theoretical model of the emotional basis of organizational vandalism should be integrated into a comprehensive system that would consider personal and organizational factors to prevent destructive behavior in company employees.


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Author Biographies

Olga V. Kruzhkova, Ural State Pedagogical University

кандидат психологических наук, доцент, заведующая кафедрой философии и акмеологии

Irina V. Deviatovskaia, Ural State Pedagogical University

кандидат психологических наук, доцент, доцент кафедры философии и акмеологии

Irina V. Vorobyeva, Ural State Pedagogical University

кандидат психологических наук, доцент, доцент кафедры социальной психологии, конфликтологии и управления


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How to Cite
Kruzhkova, O. V., Deviatovskaia, I. V., & Vorobyeva, I. V. (2019). Emotional Basis of Organizational Vandalism: A Theoretical Model. Russian Psychological Journal, 15(4), 179-205. https://doi.org/10.21702/rpj.2018.4.8
Labor psychology