Do Deterrence Mechanisms Reduce Cyberloafing When It Is an Observed Workplace Norm? A Moderated Mediation Model.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 06 23; 18(13)IJ
Despite the documented individual, job, and organizational antecedents of cyberloafing at the workplace, few studies have addressed whether, how and when group factors affect employees' cyberloafing behaviors. Drawing on social learning theory and general deterrence theory, the purpose of this study is to test if observability of coworkers' cyberloafing behavior affects employees' perceptions of norms related to cyberloafing and subsequent cyberloafing behaviors and to test if sanctions can play a role in buffering these effects. An investigation of 335 employees working at Chinese enterprises establishes that observing others engaging in cyberloafing influences the employees' perceived norms and cyberloafing behaviors and that employees' perceived norms related to cyberloafing play a partial mediating role in the relationship between observability and employees' cyberloafing. As predicted, we also found that perceived certainty and severity of potential sanctions for cyberloafing moderate the effect of observability on employees' cyberloafing as well as the indirect effect of observability on employees' cyberloafing via perceived norms related to cyberloafing. This study enriched the cyberloafing literature by revealing how observability of cyberloafing influences employees' cyberloafing and by unveiling two boundary conditions under which the cyberloafing learning effect can be buffered.