Why Do Millennials Perform Dysfunctional Behavior Toward an Organization? An Exploratory Study in an Urban Campus


Organizations can determine what constitutes dysfunctional behavior in several ways, often by aligning with the shared social values of the local society in which the organization operates. In relation to this, urban environments pose a particular challenge to organizations as its higher degree of diversity compared to rural areas. This exploratory study aims to identify the causes of millennials’ dysfunctional behavior toward organizations. Further, the authors would explore the dimension characteristics of dysfunctional behavior of millennials toward an organization. This study was conducted on an urban campus, with 197 students from various study programs being the respondents. Data collection used open-ended questions distributed through online surveys, followed by focus group discussions to obtain more detailed answers. The results showed that the main targets of the students’ dysfunctional behavior were the college itself, the lecturing staff, and the student-led organizations. The most common reasons for this behavior were disappointment with the goal and being encouraged by other students. The study also found that despite being aware that their actions were deemed unethical by the target, students who committed dysfunctional behaviors did not feel guilty because they believed the target deserved it. The findings of this study are useful for organizational behavior research, particularly in the study of dysfunctional behavior, as it provides empirical data to support that retaliation is one of the antecedents of dysfunctional behavior.

Keywords: revenge behavior, perception of justice, service failure recovery, consumer ethical standards

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