Adaptive deviance: how groups reward and socialize deviance

Wakeman, Wiley (2018) Adaptive deviance: how groups reward and socialize deviance. Doctoral thesis, University of London: London Business School.


This dissertation explores how groups address deviants within their ranks. Though research has long suggested that individuals who ignore norms and rules are punished, this dissertation outlines a process whereby groups instead allow and reward deviance as a means of improving group success. I argue that the systematic allowance of norm violations that contribute to the success of the group represents a process of adaptive deviance - where groups systematically condone unethical behavior that contributes to the success of the group. Across five chapters, this dissertation examines the behavioural antecedents, affective and psychological mechanism, behavioural responses, and boundary conditions that highlight this process. The first chapter outlines relevant literature and proposes a theoretical model of adaptive deviance, explaining the broad conditions that govern groups and their members incorporating (rather than punishing) deviance (Chapter One). The psychological mechanisms connected to this process are outlined across three empirical papers. The first empirical paper outlines how audiences not only forgive, but reward deviants who contribute to groups through their unethical actions (Chapter Two). The second empirical paper highlights how groups cognitively reclassify deviants who contribute to the group as loyal and authentic members, explaining the success of certain deviants in organizational settings (Chapter Three). The third empirical paper documents the attitudinal and behavioral support for these prosocial deviants, showing that feelings of gratitude motivated by the selfless contribution of these deviants explain these (Chapter Three). Finally, I conclude by exploring limitations and future directions for this work (Chapter Five). Together, these findings help to link the behavioural, emotional, and cognitive outcomes that contribute to a broader process of adaptive deviance, ultimately explaining how groups may encourage and incorporate deviants rather than punishing them.

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Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2022 10:14
Date of first compliant deposit: 10 Feb 2022
Subjects: Groups
Social psychology
Organisational behaviour
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 01:07

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