Perceived Overqualification and Cyberloafing: A Moderated-Mediation Model Based on Equity Theory

Abstract

Cyberloafing is prevalent in the workplace and research has increasingly focused on its antecedents. This study aims to extend the cyberloafing literature from the perspective of perceived overqualification (POQ) among civil servants (government employees). Drawing on equity theory, we examined the effect of POQ on cyberloafing, along with the mediating role of harmonious passion on the POQ–cyberloafing relationship and the moderating role of the need for achievement on strengthening the link between POQ and harmonious passion. Using time-lagged data from a sample of 318 civil servants in China, we found that (1) POQ was positively related to cyberloafing; (2) harmonious passion mediated this relationship; (3) the need for achievement moderated the effect of POQ on harmonious passion as well as the indirect effect of POQ on cyberloafing via harmonious passion. Based on the findings, we discussed theoretical and managerial implications and provided future research avenues.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    According to the official report of Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic China. http://www.mohrss.gov.cn/SYrlzyhshbzb/dongtaixinwen/buneiyaowen/201605/t20160530_240967.html.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (71572164), MOE (Ministry of Education in China) Project of Humanities and Social Sciences (17YJC630031), Guangdong Planning Program of Philosophy and Social Science (GD16YGL05), Guangdong Characteristic Innovation Project in Humanities and Social Science of Colleges and Universities (2016WTSCX037), STU Scientific Research Initiation Grant (STF16007), and STU Cultivated Program for National Funds (NFC16006).

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Cheng, B., Zhou, X., Guo, G. et al. Perceived Overqualification and Cyberloafing: A Moderated-Mediation Model Based on Equity Theory. J Bus Ethics 164, 565–577 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-018-4026-8

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Keywords

  • Perceived overqualification
  • Harmonious passion
  • Cyberloafing