Organization Management Journal


Evidence suggests work–family conflict can lead to numerous negative consequences in the workplace, including behaviors detrimental to the organization and its members, such as counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs). Yet relatively little research has addressed the relationship between work–family conflict and CWBs. This study builds on the structural model of stress and regulatory focus theory to addresses this major gap in the literature. Our model proposes that negative affect and self-regulation can help us understand how and why work–family conflict may be related to CWBs. We hypothesize that work–family conflict is positively related to negative affect, which in turn is positively related to CWBs, and regulatory focus moderates the relationship between work–family conflict and CWBs. A survey of 332 employees shows work–family conflict is directly related to CWBs, indirectly related to CWBs via negative affect, and the relationship is moderated by regulatory prevention focus. We discuss implications for theory and practice.