Meaning and Measurement of Work Role Withdrawal

Current Controversies and Future Fallout from Changing Information Technology
  • David A. Harrison
Part of the Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Theory, Research, and Practice book series (IOPS)


Despite a massive empirical effort, there has been no consensus on appropriate solutions to lateness, absence, or withdrawal problems (Johns, 1997). A vigorous debate about the meaning and measurement of these behaviors has continued for decades (Blau, 1998; Hanisch & Hulin, 1990, Hanisch & Hulin, 1991; Hanisch, Hulin, & Roznowski, 1998; Harrison & Martocchio, 1998; Hulin, 1984; Johns, 1984, Johns, 1998; Johns & Nicholson, 1982; Martocchio & Harrison, 1993; Mobley, 1982; Muchinsky, 1977; Rosse & Miller, 1984). The purpose of this chapter is to evaluate some of the arguments in that debate, and to explore the implications of those arguments under conditions of rapidly changing information technology. I begin with a review of the constitutive definitions, or the stipulated meanings ascribed to single- and multiple-behavior types of withdrawal. I then examine the implications of those meanings for improved measurement. Finally, I predict how those meanings are likely to evolve as the information revolution severs the performance of many work tasks from time and place. This change in work arrangements might necessitate a new look at the ways withdrawal behaviors are defined and studied.


Sexual Harassment Operational Definition Organizational Behavior Work Role Organizational Citizenship Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Harrison
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management and OrganizationPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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