Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Program Name/Specialization

Management and Organizational Behaviour


Lazaridis School of Business and Economics

First Advisor

Yujie Zhan

Advisor Role



Conceptualized as a form of constructive deviance, pro-social rule breaking (PSRB) refers to employees’ intentional violation of a formal organizational policy, regulation, or prohibition with the primary intention of promoting the welfare of organization or one of its stakeholders. The extant research primarily focused on the antecedents of PSRB, and research on the consequences of the behavior is limited. In my dissertation, I adopt a combination of correlational and experimental designs to examine various employee outcomes of PSRB, including employee well-being and behavioral outcomes, as well as evaluative outcomes rated by others. The first manuscript focuses on rule breaking for better customer service and examines the impact of performing pro-customer rule breaking on employee emotional exhaustion, job satisfaction, and extra-role behaviors. Employing critical incident techniques integrated in time-lagged surveys, I investigate why pro-customer rule breaking has beneficial effects on employees. Further, I explore for whom and when the beneficial effects are stronger and what mechanism explains these boundary conditions. The second manuscript focuses on rule breaking to help a coworker and investigates the effect of coworker-oriented PSRB on others’ perceptions and evaluations. Using a combination of vignette-based experimental studies and a field survey study, I examine whether, why, and when coworker-oriented PSRB has positive consequences on overall performance evaluation and leadership potential. Overall, my dissertation contributes to enhancing our understanding of the nature and employee outcomes of PSRB. Theoretically, it offers insights into the psychological mechanisms of the relationship between PSRB and employee outcomes. Further, it suggests that PSRB may be better situated at the intersection of literatures on workplace deviance, workplace helping, and job crafting.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Available for download on Sunday, June 23, 2024