From Conflict to Deviance: To foster or not to foster Reciprocity?


  • Deborah Gervasi Kore University of Enna



reciprocity, conflict, interpersonal, deviance, organizational deviance


The present work aims to theoretically analyze the effect of reciprocity in the escalating process that could bring from a badly managed conflict to deviant behaviors in the workplace. More in detail, the analysis unpacks the micromechanisms that from a conflict could lead to the rise of interpersonal deviance up to organizational one. The paper adopts the interpretative framework of Social Exchange Theory to investigate the role of reciprocity in the escalating process of negative behaviors. By considering reciprocity as an individual orientation, it is interesting to note that people who have a strong tendency to reciprocate benefits may not have the same willingness to reciprocate harmful behaviors and vice versa. Applying this distinction in the analyses of conflicting and deviant behaviors leads to different conclusions about the role of reciprocity in organizational behaviors. The proposed conceptual model shows the role of positive reciprocity in mitigating the escalating process that brings from conflict to organizational deviance. This finding suggests exploiting employees’ positive reciprocity attitude to reduce the effects of negative phenomena inside the organization. Contrary to previous studies, which suggest avoiding reciprocity to reduce conflicting and deviant behaviors, the paper suggests a new theoretical lens to approach negative organizational phenomena.


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How to Cite

Gervasi, D. (2022). From Conflict to Deviance: To foster or not to foster Reciprocity?. PuntOorg International Journal, 1(1).