The purpose of this paper is to examine the experience of anger in the workplace and in particular to identify the characteristics, causes and short‐ and long‐term consequences of workplace anger episodes.
This qualitative study involves in‐depth semi‐structured interviews with 24 participants from within four different organisational sectors. Participants were asked general questions about their experiences of anger at work, followed by more specific questions as appropriate.
Analysis of the data resulted in several themes being identified within the categories of causes, characteristics and consequences of anger episodes.
This study allows managers to understand better the role of anger in the workplace and its relationship with various undesirable outcomes as well as how aspects of organisation life might contribute to anger episodes. This should help them to introduce strategies aimed at reducing the incidences of anger experiences as well as contributing towards the development of better coping skills at all levels when anger episodes do occur.
While existing research into the experience of emotions in the workplace suggests that anger is commonly experienced and might have detrimental effects not only on the health of the individual experiencing it, but also for the organisation, there is currently a lack of empirical research into the experience of workplace anger in terms of what causes it and what the long‐ and short‐term consequences are for the individual and the organisation. This paper aims to fill that gap.
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