Perceived Social Support and Workplace Deviant Behaviors: The Mediating Role of Self-esteem in Employees in Saudi Arabia

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Rhonda Salamah Alyafi
Basmah Saad AlZamil


Workplace deviant behaviors (WDB) are considered a threat to organizations because they lead to negative consequences that affect the wellbeing of the organization and its employees. This study explored the role of perceived social support (PSS) from family, friends, and significant others on WDB, including its two dimensions, interpersonal (WDBI) and organizational (WDBO), with self-esteem (SE) as a mediator, proposed from the lens of social support theory. The purpose of this study was to test the proposed model with a sample that included 244 employees from the construction sector in Saudi Arabia. The data were collected via surveys, and the model was analyzed using structural equation modeling. The analysis revealed insignificant direct relationships between the three social support sources and interpersonal and organizational deviance. For the indirect relationships, SE fully mediated the relationships between family support with both WDBI (β = -.04, p =.02) and WDBO (β = -.05, p = .02). However, the relationship between friends support, WDBI and WDBO through SE were insignificant. Likewise, the relationship between significant others support, WDBI and WDBO through SE were insignificant. The study recommends that HR practices should enhance employees’ moral values and skills, and emphasize the organizational laws and punishments. Further, managers should consider investing in strategies that strengthen employee relationships with their families so that they could provide adequate support to boosts the members’ self-esteem, and hence enhance their positive behaviors and attitudes.


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Alyafi, R. S., & AlZamil, B. S. (2024). Perceived Social Support and Workplace Deviant Behaviors: The Mediating Role of Self-esteem in Employees in Saudi Arabia. The Journal of Behavioral Science, 19(1), 51–67. Retrieved from
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