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«UNDERSTANDING EMPLOYEES’ BEHAVIORAL REACTIONS TO AGGRESSION IN ORGANIZATIONS by MARIE S. MITCHELL B.S., George Mason University, 1993 M.A.H.R., ...»

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Half of you received rude comments, and the other half received neutral comments. We believe the really interesting reactions result when individuals deal with very rude and insensitive behavior; not many individuals like to be treated in that way.

d. We also wanted to understand how different individual characteristics (e.g., personality traits) and situational variables influence reactions. Earlier in the semester, you completed personality tests.

i. Of the many inventories you completed, we were particularly interested in locus of control, trait anger, and desire for social approval. Since these are variables you have already discussed in class, what type of response do you believe is warranted when individuals hold these types of personality traits? Based on other personality variables you’ve studied, what else do

–  –  –

4. Discuss how we will ensure confidentiality.

a. Your responses will not be revealed to a third party under any circumstances, which means no one other than the researchers will ever see the specific comments you wrote on the back of the exam, the responses on the Instructor Evaluation form, or the responses on the Peer Evaluation forms – no one: not your instructor, not your classmates, not other students, no one.

b. Instead, the responses will be combined with over all others and all results will be presented as “40% of respondents said X” or “60% said Y.” As a result, no one other than the researcher will ever see individual responses, and no one will ever be able to tell one individual from another in the results.

5. Provide information regarding the results of this study.

–  –  –

6. Ask students not to discuss the experiment with other students outside of this class.

a. Because the study is still on-going, I very much appreciate it if you do not discuss today’s session with other students outside of this class.

7. Close out discussions and thank students for participating in the exercise.

a. I again thank you for your time, efforts and support with my research!

–  –  –

PEER EVALUATION FORM

Peer Performance Review Team Name: _____________________________________ Student Name _____________________________________

Instructions:

1. Write all of your team members' names in the first row. Do not include your own name.

2. Using the following scoring scale, assign numerical values in the rows numbered 1 through 10, then add up the Total Score. Consider each team member separately from the others. You must provide justification for very low and very high scores.

3. Write any additional comments on the back of this page about the effectiveness of any or all of your team members.

4. Place this form in a sealed envelope to insure confidentiality. Your responses will not be revealed to your teammates in any form in which you will be identifiable.

5. Peer evaluation scores will be tabulated and overall team points will be assigned based on percentage of the total possible score.

Scoring: 5 = All the time 4 = Most of the time 3 = Enough 2 = Not Enough 1 = Causes Major Problems Team members’ names → (Do not write in your own name)

1. Attends all classes, meetings, and events, and is on time or early.

2. Notifies other members if going to miss class or a meeting, or if s/he will be late.

3. Is professional and polite. Treats others (and their opinions) with respect.

4. Demonstrates honesty, integrity, and responsibility.

5. Listens attentively and doesn’t interrupt. Is open to any and all ideas.

6. Contributes equally to team assignments.

7. Completely fulfills his/her obligations by deadlines.

Does what s/he agreed to do.

8. His/her own work is high quality.

9. Gives constructive criticism, and takes same seriously and without being defensive.

10. Coaching is high quality, on target, and delivered tactfully.

–  –  –

Listed below is a series of statements that represent feelings that you might hold in general with people. Please indicate your agreement with each statement by circling the appropriate number.

–  –  –

Please indicated in the space provided below whether anyone discussed the questionnaires you completed today for Management Department prior to your entering the classroom today.

That’s it! Thank you very much for your time. We greatly appreciate your help.

–  –  –

Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. 2002. Human aggression. Annual Review of Psychology, 53:

27-51.

Baron, R. A. 2004. Workplace aggression and violence: Insights from basic research. In R. W.

Griffin & A. M. O’Leary-Kelly (Eds.), The dark side of organizational behavior: 23-61.

–  –  –

Berkowitz, L. 1983. The experience of anger as a parallel process in the display of impulsive, “angry” aggression. In R. G. Geen & E. I. Donnerstein (Eds.), Aggression: Theoretical and empirical reviews (Vol. 1): 103-134. New York: Academic Press, Inc.





Berkowitz, L. 1990. On the formation and regulation of anger and aggression: A cognitiveneoassociationistic analysis. American Psychologist, 45(4): 494-503.

Bies, R. J., & Tripp, T. M. 1996. Beyond distrust: Getting even and the need for revenge. In R.

M. Kramer & T. Tyler (Eds.), Trust in organizations: 246-260. Thousand Oaks, CA:

–  –  –

Bies, R. J., & Tripp, T. M. 1998. Revenge in organizations: The good, the bad, and the ugly. In R. W. Griffin, A. O’Leary-Kelly, & J. M. Collins (Eds.), Dysfunctional behavior in organizations: Non-violent dysfunctional behavior: 49-67. Stamford, CT: JAI Press.

Dollard, J., Doob, L. W., Miller, N. E., Mowrer, O. H., & Sears, R. R. 1939. Frustration and aggression. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Exline, R. V. 1963. Explorations in the process of person perception: Visual interaction in relation to competition, sex, and need for affiliation. Journal of Personality, 31: 1-20.

Folger, R., & Skarlicki, D. P. 1998. A popcorn metaphor for employee aggression. In R.W.

Griffin, A. O’Leary-Kelly, and J. M. Collins (Eds.), Dysfunctional behavior in organizations, Part A: violent and deviant behavior: 43-81. Stamford, CT: JAI Press.

Folkman, S., & Lazarus, R. S. 1980. An analysis of coping in a middle-aged community sample.

Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 21: 219-239.

Hill, C. A. 1991. Seeking emotional support: The influence of affiliative need and partner warmth. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60: 112-121.

Krushkal, K. B., & Wish, M. 1978. Multi-dimensional scaling. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Marcus-Newhall, A., Pedersen, W. C., Carlson, M., & Miller, N. 2000. Displaced aggression is alive and well: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(4): 670-689.

Mehrabian, A., & Ksionzky, S. 1974. A theory of affiliation. Lexington, MA: Heath.

Miller, N. E. 1948. Theory and experiment relating psychoanalytic displacement to stimulusresponse generalization. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 43: 155-178.

Nadler, A. 1983. Personal characteristics and help-seeking. In B. M. DePaulo, A. Nadler, & J. D.

Fisher (Eds.), New directions in helping: Help-seeking (Vol. 2): 303-340. San Diego,

–  –  –

Neuman, J. H., & Baron, R. A. 1998. Workplace violence and workplace aggression: Evidence concerning specific forms, potential causes, and preferred targets. Journal of Management, 24(3): 391-419.

Neuman, J. H., & Baron, R. A. 2005. Aggression in the workplace: A social-psychological

perspective. In S. Fox & P. E. Spector (Eds.), Counterproductive work behavior:

Investigations of actors and targets: 13-40.

Perrowe, P. L., & Spector, P. E. 2002. Personality research in the organizational sciences. In K.

M. Rowland, & G. R. Ferris (Eds.), Research in Personnel and Human Resource Management: 1-63. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Sears, R. R. 1948. Non-aggressive reactions to frustration. Psychological Review, 48: 337-342.

Tedeschi, J. T. & Felson, R. B. 1994. Violence, aggression, and coercive actions. Washington,

–  –  –

Terhune, K. W. 1968. Motives, situation, and interpersonal conflict within prisoner’s dilemma.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Monographs, 8(3): 2.

Thoits, P. A. 1994. Stressors and problem-solving: The individual as psychological activist.

Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 35(2): 143-160.

Turner, R. J., & Roszell, P. 1994. Psychological resources and the stress process. In W. R.

Avison & I. H. Gotlib (Eds.), Stress and mental health: Contemporary issues and prospects for the future. New York: Plenum.

–  –  –

The purpose of my dissertation was to identify and explore behavioral reactions to the perceived aggression of others. Specifically, I examined individuals’ reactions to behavior they perceive as intentionally harmful. I developed a typology of behavioral reactions to aggression.

The typology identifies two primary dimensions: the form of the behavior (aggression versus non-aggression) and the direction of the behavior (toward the perceived aggressor versus not

toward the perceived aggressor). The two dimensions produce four categories of reactions:

retaliatory aggression, displaced aggression, constructive problem-solving, and withdrawal.

Building primarily from theories of aggression, I also modeled situational and individual factors that influence employee reactions to aggression, and tested predictions from this model in two studies. The first study used a cross-sectional survey design and investigated the moderating effects of fear of retaliation, aggressive modeling, absolute hierarchical status, trait anger and need for social approval. The second study used a 2x2 experimental design and investigated the moderating effects of fear of retaliation, trait anger, locus of control and need for social approval.

Although the results of the studies provide support for some of the predictions, by and large many were not supported. The unexpected findings draw issue with the theoretical framework and conceptual model that were used to develop the hypotheses. To assess the conceptual framework, I discuss patterns that emerged over both studies with regard to the moderator variables and the reactions in general.

The Role of Fear of Retaliation: An Evaluation of the Theory of Frustration-Aggression According to Dollard et al.’s (1939) theory of frustration-aggression, fear of retaliation from the source of the harm may influence reactions to aggression. They argued that when individuals fear retaliation from the harmdoer, they are less likely to respond to aggression with retaliation and more likely to displaced aggression on other targets. Thus, high fear of retaliation should inhibit retaliatory reactions to aggression because individuals would not want to provoke future attacks from the harmdoer. This inability to retaliate, however, heightens frustrations, which ultimately causes individuals to redirect or “displace” aggression on other targets. Thus, Dollard et al. describe displaced aggression as a cathartic response to frustrating events (like perceived aggression).

In both studies, when fear of retaliation was low, the relationship between perceived aggression and retaliatory aggression was more strongly positive than when fear of retaliation was high. This pattern provides support for Dollard et al.’s contentions that fear of retaliation inhibits retaliatory reactions to perceived aggression. However, the results of both studies do not support Dollard et al.’s arguments that fear of retaliation strengthens displaced aggression reactions to perceived aggression. Instead, the results suggest that displaced aggression is a more complex phenomenon. In the survey study, by and large, high fear of retaliation negatively influenced the relationship between perceived supervisor aggression and all forms of displaced aggression (toward the organization, coworkers and customers), whereas low fear of retaliation positively influenced the relationship. In contrast, the fear of retaliation x perceived aggression interaction was not significant in the experimental study, meaning fear of retaliation did not influence displaced aggression reactions. Nevertheless, the results of both studies in general do not support Dollard et al.’s cathartic predictions about displaced aggression; rather, they suggest individuals choose to whom to displace and not to displace aggression.



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