eCite Digital Repository

The manipulative personality at work: Machiavellianism, affective commitment and counterproductive interpersonal behaviours in the workplace


Lowe, E and Grieve, RM, The manipulative personality at work: Machiavellianism, affective commitment and counterproductive interpersonal behaviours in the workplace, APS 11th Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference, 2-4 July, 2015, Melbourne, Australia (2015) [Conference Extract]

Microsoft Word
Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy


Aim: Counterproductive interpersonal workplace behaviours are costly in terms of both higher employee turnover and lower productivity, and can escalate to create a destructive organisational culture. The goal of this study was to identify the mechanisms by which manipulative personality characteristics influence workplace incivility and aggression.

Design: A cross-sectional design was used to test a mediation model, whereby affective occupational and affective organisational commitment levels mediate the relationship between Machiavellianism and workplace incivility and aggression.

Method: 273 participants who were either currently or previously employed completed an anonymous online survey. Data were analysed using PROCESS.

Results: Machiavellianism directly predicted workplace aggression, with affective occupational commitment partially mediating the relationship. Affective organisational commitment also mediated the Machiavellianism–workplace aggression relationship. Machiavellianism directly predicted workplace incivility, and again a partial mediation effect of affective occupational commitment was evident. However, affective organisational commitment did not mediate the Machiavellianism—workplace incivility relationship.

Conclusion: Occupational commitment is more internally oriented on an individual’s career choice, whereas organisational commitment reflects an external focus. Due to the self-interested nature of Machiavellians, their occupational commitment may have stronger influence than their organisational commitment on their interpersonal interactions. This is consistent with suggestions that Machiavellians engage in less counterproductive work behaviour when they perceive greater personal, rather than organisational, benefit. In order to reduce counterproductive interpersonal behaviours such as aggression, it is recommended that interventions target both affective occupational and affective organisation commitment. To curtail workplace incivility, a focus on improving affective occupational commitment is advised.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Dark Triad; Personality; counterproductive workplace behaviours; organisational psychology; interpersonal behaviours
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Industrial and organisational psychology (incl. human factors)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Lowe, E (Dr Emily Lowe-Calverley)
UTAS Author:Grieve, RM (Dr Rachel Grieve)
ID Code:104886
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2015-11-24
Last Modified:2015-11-25
Downloads:6 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page