This study integrates research in social networks and interpersonal counterproductive behaviors to examine the role of third-party relationships in predicting an individual’s susceptibility to coworker mistreatment, and in moderating the relationship between coworker mistreatment and job performance. Third-party embeddedness and network closure are examined in the formal workflow network and the informal liking network. Results obtained from employees in a family-owned Chinese business in Singapore indicate that an individual is more likely to be mistreated by a coworker when both parties are strongly embedded in mutual third-party relationships in the workflow network, and that the individual is less likely to be mistreated when both parties are strongly embedded in the liking network. At the individual network level, network closure (i.e., the extent to which an individual’s contacts are themselves connected to one another) in the workflow network increases the likelihood that the individual will be mistreated by a coworker, but closure in the liking network weakens the negative relationship between mistreatment and performance. The findings offer a network-based perspective to understanding interpersonal mistreatment and counterproductive work behaviors, particularly in the context of Confucian Asian firms, and provide practical implications for organizations and individuals to reduce counterproductive behaviors at work.

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Copyright © 2013 The International Association for Chinese Management Research. Article first published online: 17 JAN 2014. DOI: 10.1111/more.12031.

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Ho, Violet T. "Co-worker Mistreatment in a Singaporean Chinese Firm: The Roles of Third Party Embeddedness and Network Closure. 新加坡华人企业中的同事虐待:第三方嵌入性和网络闭合的作用." Management and Organization Review 10, no. 1 (March 2014): 109-34. doi:10.1111/more.12031.