The Effects of Military Training on Minor Workplace Deviance Evidence from College Football

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Myra R. Ford
Jeremy J. Foreman
Jill S. Harris


Deviant behavior associated with a firm’s brand comes at a substantial cost to the organization. Corporations are becoming increasingly interested in the personal conduct of employees on and off duty. For this reason, firms may seek out employees with military backgrounds because they believe military training helps to shape ethical and disciplined habits. Several studies indicate military veterans may be less likely to engage in deviant behavior. However, other studies find deviant behavior is an extensive problem within the military. The purpose of this study is to compare the levels of minor workplace deviance between military and non-military organizations. In order to make this comparison,
sample data from college football are utilized to compare on-field penalties—a proxy for workplace deviance. Results from an empirical model indicate that players with military training are less likely to engage in minor workplace deviance.

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Author Biographies

Myra R. Ford, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Myra R. Ford is a veteran of the US armed forces who received her bachelor and master of science degrees in kinesiology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Currently, she is the pharmacy technician program director at Arizona College. Prior to her current position, she served as a pharmacy technician as well as a pharmacy technician instructor.

Jeremy J. Foreman, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Jeremy J. Foreman is assistant professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. A veteran of the US armed forces, he received his PhD from Louisiana State University. His research examines personnel issues within the context of sport, with specific focuses on such personnel issues as deviant behavior, coach promotions and dismissals, respite, and biases in sport.

Jill S. Harris, United States Air Force Academy

Jill S. Harris is associate professor at the United States Air Force Academy. She teaches applied economics courses including the economics of sport and crime, economics of the environment, and law and economics. Her research focus includes non-compliance behavior and the intersection of sport management and labor economics. She also writes about the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in economics education. Her recent work is featured in the Review of Industrial Organization and the International Journal of Sport Finance.