Psychology Project Topics

Human Behavioral Conduct and Development Crisis in Nigeria

Human Behavioral Conduct and Development Crisis in Nigeria

Human Behavioral Conduct and Development Crisis in Nigeria

Chapter One

Objectives of the Study

General Objective

Service time is regarded as one of the most critical performance indicators in banking industry. Motivated, disciplined, and ethical employees with proper workplace behavior certainty offer positive impacts on satisfactory and efficient customer service; and good company image.

Specific objectives of the study include:

  1. To identify of the major causes and kinds of work place deviant behaviors,
  2. To investigate the disadvantage and WDB in Commercial banks.
  3. To assess the influence of deviant employees on other employees of the bank
  4. To realize prevention mechanisms used on deviance behavior,

The report focuses on the kinds and consequences of behavioral crisis of full time operational and clerical employees in the banks Furthermore appropriate recommendations are provided that are possible for prevention, correction and implementation.



Conceptual review

A Typology of Behavioral crisis

According to S.L. Robinson and R.J. Bennet (1995), typology of workplace deviance, varies along two dimensions, namely ‘interpersonal versus organizational’ and ‘minor versus serious’.

Classifications of deviant behavior were proposed by the following authors: Mangione and Quinn (1974) first introduced the concept of property deviance and production deviance. Wheeler (1976) distinguished serious and non-serious organizational rule-breaking. Hollinger and Clark (1982) built up a framework that was based on property deviance and production deviance. Finally, Robinson and Bennett (1995) introduced a typology of behavioral crisis including the interpersonal aspect. The framework consists of the following two dimensions:

  • Minor Serious (Describes the severity of the deviant behavior)
  • Interpersonal Organizational

The result of Robinson and Bennett’s research established a two dimensional map which organizes behavioral crisis into four quadrants labeled: production deviance, property deviance, political deviance and personal aggression. These are:

  • Production deviance
  • Property deviance
  • Political deviance
  • Personal aggression

The types are Production Deviance, Property Deviance, Political Deviance, and Personal Aggression. (Peterson 2002) The four quadrants might suggest that behaviors from one quadrant are unrelated to those in another. In fact it is assumed that “deviant behaviors begin small but escalate into different and more severe sets of behavior.” Minor incidents of incivility can lead to aggression and ultimately unexplained absences and actions against the organization can be the result.Wilson and Kelling’s (1982) theory of the Broken Windows describes this particular instance; small offences that are not taken care of will inevitably lead to more serious offences. If someone breaks a window and he realizes that the window is not replaced, he will assume that he can break the rest of the windows or even set the house on fire without consequences. Hence, it is crucial to punish even the smallest offenses.

Production Deviance

Production deviance are “behaviors that violate the formally proscribed norms delineating the minimal quality and quantity of work to be accomplished”. Being late to work, leaving early, taking excessive breaks, withholding effort, wasting resources, using drugs and alcohol in the workplace, and calling in sick when well (absenteeism) are forms of production deviance.43 Withholding effort describes the incidence where an individual gives less than full effort on a job- related task. An employee might withhold effort because he has negative views about the group or the organization. Kidwell (1995) All these behaviors have an impact on the productivity of organizations. A survey disclosed that 29 percent of supermarket employees have called in sick when they were well. Lateness and absenteeism are closely linked to each other. Those employees who are absent frequently also tend to be unpunctual. Everton et al. (2005).

 Property Deviance

Property deviance describes “those instances where employees acquire or damage the tangible property or assets of the work organization without authority.” Property deviance harms the organizations and is quite severe. Sabotaging equipment, accepting kickbacks, lying about hours worked, releasing confidential information, intentional errors, misusing expense accounts, and stealing from the company are forms of property deviance. Some of these acts are connected with direct costs for the organization since equipment has to be replaced. Furthermore they can have consequences for productivity because work cannot be performed until the equipment is replaced. Everton et al. (2005).

Theft is defined as the “unauthorized taking, control, or transfer of money and/or property of the formal work organization that is perpetrated by an employee during the course of occupational activity.”49 One study found that 75 percent of employees have stolen property from their organizations at least once. In another study of restaurant employees, 60 percent indicated that they have stolen from their organizations in the past six month.50 Employee theft is often seen as unavoidable costs of doing business. In some cases, employers and employees have different views of theft. Taking company property (e.g. food) is often not recognized as theft by employees while it is by employers. Another form of employee theft, altruistic property deviance, is “giving away of company property to others, either at no charge or at substantial discount, usually to improve social relationships with peers.” Everton et al. (2005)

As defined by The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) embezzlement is “the misappropriation or misapplication of money or property entrusted to one’s care, custody, or control.” The difference between embezzlement and other forms of theft is that the financial trust of an owner is violated by a delinquent. Furthermore, employees are less likely to steal from someone they have positive social contact with.

Political Deviance

Political deviance is “the behavior as engagement in social interaction that puts other individuals at a personal or political disadvantage.” Workplace incivility, showing favoritism, gossiping about co-workers, and competing non-beneficially are forms of political deviance. (Peterson 2002) Workplace incivility is bad-mannered and disrespectful behavior that harms whether it is intentional and unintentional. There are numerous examples including being interrupted while speaking, receiving humiliating notes, and not being thanked when helping co-workers. Incivility is prevalent and hurtful to co-workers. The consequences of such behavior are serious. Those who were or still are targets of this type of behavior are less satisfied with their jobs, and are subsequently more likely to resign. Besides, they are more likely to be depressed or anxious. Workplace incivility can also result in other types of deviance. Absenteeism, stealing, doing work wrong intentionally, and aggressive behavior are plausible outcomes. The consequences of workplace incivility are stronger, the stronger the incidences are. Even a relatively small incident can lead to a chain of events resulting in a very grave incident.

 Personal Aggression

Violence that is initiated by co-workers can happen everywhere: No industry, no organization, and no employee can exclude the occurrence of such behavior. Personal aggression is “behaving in an aggressive or hostile manner towards other individuals.” Sexual harassment, rape, verbal abuse, physical assaults, sabotaging the work of co-workers, stealing from co-workers, destroying property of co-workers, and endangering co-workers are forms of personal aggression. Everton et al. (2005)

Employees who have been the target of aggression by co-workers have more physical and emotional health problems and are less committed to their organizations. They tend to be more often depressed and to have less job satisfaction than those who have not been victims of aggression. If the victims of such behaviors receive support, they report higher well-being and possess more positive feelings than those not being supported. Everton et al. (2005) While usually individuals are those who have the greatest costs from these types of behavior, in the end organizations face costs as well. The costs result from lower productivity, lost work time, inferior quality, medical and legal expenses, and a damaged public image. Griffin (2006)

There are approximately 300,000 incidences of workplace violence reported in the United States every year and even more are never reported.61 Another survey estimated that more than two million workers are physically attacked at work every year. Homicide in the workplace is one of the “major causes of employee deaths”. Women are more affected than are men. 50 percent of all women who decease in the workplace are victims of violence. “Ten percent of all workplace fatalities in 2004 were homicides. (US Department of Labor, 2005)” Workplace homicide is the fastest growing kind of homicide in the US. (Griffin,2006)

Verbal aggression and obstruction usually take place covertly in the workplace. Hence, harming the victims- whether they are individuals or the organization- can be carried out with little danger. Appelbaum et al. (2005)



C H A P T E R  T H R E E                                                                        


 Research Design

The study of assessment of deviant employees’ workplace behavior study was conducted among head office employees in different three Nigeria. This research is designed to be conducted based on descriptive and exploratory research method. This was due to the need to clarify ambogous natures of the deviance problem and to learn about the new possibilities in the given field of study. Then, descriptive research design was used to identifies important factors, and provide accurate and efficient designing processes of the research. Statistical techniques are used in descriptive research for qualitative classification and analysis of data to describes the existing phenomenon as it exists.

Population and Sampling Techniques

The sampling technique employed to collect primary and secondary information from three different private commercial banks operating in Nigeria. Currently, there are the sixteen private commercial banks in Nigeria. These are stratified in to two groups of private commercial banks that are established and registered by Central Bank of Nigeria, which provides for licensing and supervision of banking businesses as per proclamation No. 84/1994, before and after five years. Then three banks from both strata are selected using simple random sampling method in order to avoid bias. This is about 18.75% of all of the commercial banks of Nigeria. Since the business environment, nature, service, procedure and structure of the private banks are similar, those three banks can represent others. Thus, it was considered as a study population of this particular study. This was also due to manageability, the consideration costs of the research, and necessity of time to obtain more finding. Questionnaires were distributed to each of the three banks.

Subsequently, those banks that are cooperative and supportive were selected for the study. The study was conducted in the head offices of each bank. Lottery method was be used to obtain a simple random sample. Then each bank is assigned a unique number in its separate group (department and bank) differently. The numbers was placed in a bowl and thoroughly mixed and 3 numbers taken to select the sample in blind-folded from its corresponding strata. The two banks are from banks that were established pre five years and one is from banks that were established post 5 years.

C H A P T E R F O U R                              

R E S U L T S & D I S C U S S I O N

 Results/Findings of the Study

In this section, relevant bank information of the three banks namely, UBA, CBN, and PB are presented as a summary; questionnaire responses obtained are reported; and the demographic characteristics of the respondents are also reported.

C H AP T E R F I V E                                                                                  


Summary of the Findings of the Three Banks

In this section, the collective responses of the three banks: CBN, UBA, and PB are presented.

The researcher has tried to investigate the existence of deviant behavior in the banks. The following is the summary of the result of responses:

  • Regarding the existence of deviant behavior due to inequitable treatment (injustice) and abusive supervision in the work place/department; as we can see in the diagram below, 31 respondents have neutral view, and 13 respondents agreed where as 16 respondents strongly 33.3 % of the respondents agree or strongly agree with this where 21.1% of the respondents disagree or strongly disagree. Thus, most of the respondents agree with the availability of deviant behavior in the private banks of Nigeria. This shows that deviant behavior is observed due to inequitable treatment (injustice) and abusive supervision in the work place/department of the banks.
  • Regarding the existence of production deviance- like leaving early, taking excessive breaks, intentionally working slowly, disobey supervisor’s instruction and wasting resources observed in the work place/department, 39 respondents disagreed and 25 respondents had neutral Thus, most respondents (45% of the respondents) don’t agree and 29 % respondents with neutral view suggest that there is no production deviance- like leaving early, taking excessive breaks, intentionally working slowly, disobey supervisor’s instruction and wasting resources. In addition to this, the responses of the interview and focus group discussion suggests that taking excessive breaks, intentionally working slowly, disobey supervisor’s instruction are not frequently observed in the work area. But there is wastage of resources observed in some work place/departments; especially on the area of internet connection and papers.
  • Regarding the existence of property deviance- like sabotaging equipment, accepting kickbacks, lying about hours worked, and stealing from company observed in the department among co- workers, 50 of the respondents disagree, 7 of them strongly agree, and 23 of them have neutral Thus, 58 % of the respondents don’t agree with the existence of property deviance- like sabotaging equipment, accepting kickbacks, lying about hours worked, and stealing from company. But the discussion of the focus group suggests that there is lying about hours worked specially in field works outside the city especially in the loan, IT and auditing departments.
  • Regarding the existence of political deviance -such as favoritism, gossiping about co-workers, blaming coworkers, and competing non-beneficially in the department among co-workers, 48 % of the respondents don’t agree with the existence of political deviance and 25% of the respondents have neutral view. But the interviews and the focus group discussion imply that favoritism, gossiping about co-workers, blaming coworkers, and competing non-beneficially in the department among co-workers are available the private banks of Nigeria. Some of them suggested that a number of top managers employees their relatives and promote them favorably without proper computation or procedure. Gossiping is mostly observed in a department of private bank while competing non-beneficially is observed in Several tasks are accomplished without clear goal and value for the sake of taking the appreciation non- beneficially.
  • Regarding the existence of personal aggression –such as sexual harassment, verbal abuse, stealing from co-workers or customers, and endangering coworkers in the work place/department among co-workers, 66 % of the respondents don’t agreed, 29% of the respondents are neutral, and only 4 % of the respondents agreed. The interviews and focus group discussions show that there are sexual harassment and verbal abuse at times in some departments of the private banks. And these are often committed by the survivors on the Few supervisors treat their subordinates abusively; this is even offensive to the other employees as well.
  • Regarding the existence of follow up and proper discipline measures taken to correct those with a deviant behavior, about 37% of the respondents don’t agreed and 42% of the respondents have neutral outlook. In addition to this, the results of interviews and focus group discussion show that there are no proper discipline measures taken to a great extent to correct those in a deviance behavior. But demotion and forced leave is mostly used to penalize those deviant individuals who are often responsible for a bigger mistake that are visible to many people. Few respondents suggested that various managers use this discipline measures unfortunately to attack those who confronts them or disagrees with them. Other stated that counseling and teaching are the best options every manager has to use instead of giving warning


In conclusion, there are several deviant employees behaviors observed in Commercial banks of Nigeria. There are political deviance and production deviance observed amongst employees and supervisors. The majority of these behaviors are caused due to inequitable treatment (injustice) and abusive supervision. There is no clear indication for the existence of production deviance- like leaving early, taking excessive breaks, intentionally working slowly, disobey supervisor’s instruction and wasting resources. But there is a sign of the existence of wastage of resources rarely observed in some work place/departments; especially on the area of internet connection and papers in some units of the banks. Property deviance such as: sabotaging equipment, accepting kickbacks, lying about hours worked, and stealing from company observed in the department among co-workers are not habitual in the private banks. But there is lying about hours worked in order to get allowance and other benefits. Gossiping about co-workers, favoritism and competing is observed in a number of units of the private banks with regard to political deviance. Sexual harassment and verbal abuse at times evolve as personal aggression in some departments of the private banks. This is more often observed between mangers and subordinates. Demotion and forced leave is mostly used by Private Banks as proper discipline measures. But most of the respondents agree that there lacks regular and appropriate follow up to correct those in a deviance behavior.

Other interpersonal deviance behaviors that are displayed between individuals in the workplace and involved behaviors such as: theft , turnover, absenteeism ,destructive rumors, belittling (mocking) others, playing pranks on others, acting rudely, arguing, physical aggression, poor service, workplace incivility is bad-mannered and disrespectful behavior that harms whether it is intentional and unintentional, interruption while speaking, receiving humiliating notes, and not being thanked when helping co-worker, and counterproductive behavior. Individuals that have serious personality flaws or mental disorders make them commit deviant acts. This is also observed in some private banks of Nigeria. Dysfunctional employees with deviant behaviors in the workplaces are present due to dysfunctional family system from their childhood growth. Most respondents agree that those elder employees are likely to be more honest than younger employees; religious people tend to be more ethical than others, and married employees are honest than unmarried. While the availability of close supervision decease deviance behavior, the availability of ethical dilemmas increases it. Job dissatisfaction influences employees to engage in a poor service, destructive rumors, theft, sabotage of equipment and turnover absenteeism. Scott and Chen (2003) also assert that job satisfaction has negative effect on the intention to quit. Research by Harrel and Stahl (1984) found that there is positive significant correlation between job satisfactions and work performance. The target population shows large variability in the behaviors and attitudes of interest being researched

The consequences of these deviant employees workplace behaviors go beyond financial costs. Nearly every one of respondents agreed deviant behaviors of personal aggression –such as sexual harassment and verbal abuse are the major cause of job dissatisfaction and turnover. Research by Tett and Meyer (1993) suggested that there is negative correlation between job satisfaction and intention to quit. Some of the respondents have indicated that deviant employees cause stress and anger as well as communication problem in other coworkers as well; corruption and bureaucracy are other effects of these behavior found in the private banks of Nigeria especially for borrower clients and importers. These deviant behaviors had all impacted and destroys trust and belief in the person in some departments of the private banks. Coccia (1998) agrees with this, “victims of interpersonal workplace deviance are more likely to suffer from stress related problem and show relatively decreased productivity, lost work time and a relatively high turnover rate, and financial costs.”

Creating and promoting an ethical organizational culture, communicating about ethics and values, providing ethical training programs, background checking in recruitment and selection, employment interviews, keeping records, and inspections are the major instruments of answers given to control deviant employees’ workplace behaviors in the private banks of Nigeria.

Regarding sex category for more deviance in terms of employee’s workplace behaviors, even though some male employees engage in some deviant behaviors of personal aggression deviance like sexual harassment, most of the responses suggest that female employees deviate more often than men in most deviant behaviors such as late coming and leaving early, delaying in delivering tasks, verbal abuse, gossiping about co-workers, blaming coworkers, and of immoral dressings.

Lastly, many managers strive to create cohesive ethical organizational culture and an environment where employees are able to express their concerns, anger or frustrations to a trusted supervisor. But they have to also look for practical implications in understanding why certain employees might be disciplined where other aren’t. This is because deviant employees’ behavior is behavior that threatens the organizational effectiveness and well being. Unless it is managed and corrected, it creates job insecurity, job dissatisfaction, negatively affeact strategic role, brings depressing emotions on employees; and enrode the culture of citizens at large. It in turn has a great impact in the profit and growth of financial institutions in the country.


Based on the analysis and interpretation of gathered data the following recommendations are made: –

The researcher found the dimensions, impact and depth of deviant employees behaviors are different from one bank to the other. The nature and impact of these behaviors are diverse in different environments. Furthermore, there is no one method to address all kinds of deviance behaviors in the different private banks of Nigeria. Even though understanding dimensions and reasons of employees’ deviant behaviors is complex and vast issue, the researcher recommends the right and relevant solution should be found to avoid terrible consequences. With regard to the complain of the employees, the commercial banks managements and board directors should construct a clear and visible benefit packasges and career path development system in order to avoid major complain of employees.

It is essential for managers to understand the antecedents of such behavior to minimize its prevalence. Organizational factors such as ethical values, organizational justice, and codes of ethics improve individuals’ way of thinking. But these are not witnessed and implemented in many Commercial banks of Nigeria. The researcher strongly recommend for the full implementation and availability of ethical values, organizational justice, and codes of ethicsin Commercial banks of Nigeria. Hence, it is very advantageous to prevent deviance behaviors and employees from the grass root in the early stage.

Managers have to to be role models through visible ethical actions, listen to staff members’ frustration and anger to prevent damage, inspect employees and be careful not to engage in verbal abuse. Employees are the main asset for service rendering companies like banks. There is a lot of competition now a days in the banking industry of the country. Customer satisfaction is an essential element in attaining loyal clients in the bank. This is mainly enhanced by the employees of the bank. In any organization, managing the behavior of employees is difficult and a major concern. Without well experienced, motivated, ethical employees, it is difficult to attain visions and satisfy stockholders. It is difficult to get innovative ideas, better intelligence and better customer service. Intern, different works of the bank will not be done effectively and efficiently.

Training and seminars should be given to all employees regarding deviant behavior and in creating awareness in the rules and procedures of the company; this is important to prevent future contamination of these behaviors and damages due to it. Clear and applicable procedures should be enforced. Best and competent employees of the bank may leave due to other’s (coworker and supervisor) deviant behavior that are committed against them. Thus proper follow up, rewards, sanctions, discussion and measures should be taken on deviant employees, in order to prevent banks from loss.

Furthermore, employees should carry out their tasks, duties, and responsibilities of their positions and should not engage in actions which will harm the organization, other employees or its customers in any way. All employees of the bank should stick to the productive norms of the bank. Deviant behaviors have a negative effect on profitability of the commercial banks, and their employees, as well as for the country at large. In addition, further studies are required so as to resolve future challenges and damages. Finally, a lot needs to be done in order to create a good culture in the banks and outside along with the citizens of Nigeria.


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