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When does Superiors’ Deviance threaten Organisational Hierarchy?


  • Thomas Diefenbach

    () (Faculty of Management Technology, The German University in Cairo)


There has been some research into employees’ organisational misbehaviour. But how about managers’ or superiors’ deviance? Little is known about the impact of superiors’ misbehaviour on the system of hierarchical order. This theoretical paper, therefore, investigates how, why and when superiors’ crossing of boundaries contributes to the stabilisation and continuation of hierarchical social system – and when their misbehaviour threatens it. For investigating this question, the concept of crossing of boundaries will be applied to superiors’ deviance in the realms of social action, interests, social identity and ideology. Findings suggest that almost all of superiors’ deviance does not threaten hierarchical organisations.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Diefenbach, 2011. "When does Superiors’ Deviance threaten Organisational Hierarchy?," Working Papers 27, The German University in Cairo, Faculty of Management Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:guc:wpaper:27

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    File Function: First version, 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oberg, Achim & Walgenbach, Peter, 2008. "Hierarchical structures of communication in a network organization," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 183-198, September.
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    More about this item


    Managers; hierarchy; organizational misbehaviour; crossing of boundaries;

    JEL classification:

    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General
    • L29 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Other


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