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Anger and aggression in organizations: Antecedents, behavioral components, and consequences

by Theresa Marie (1) Glomb
Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering ()


Antecedents, behavioral components, and outcomes of aggression in organizations were studied via questionnaires (n = 366), structured interviews (n = 74), and specific incident reports (n = 118). Data obtained from employees in three organizations assessed organizational and individual differences antecedents and job and personal outcomes related to the frequency with which employees reported being the target of and engaging in aggression. Organizational antecedents included organizational, job, and work group stress; organizational justice; and organizational climate. Individual antecedents included trait anger, type A behavior pattern, and reactions to anger. These antecedents and the outcomes discussed below were selected based on theoretical and empirical literature on anger and aggression. Aggression was conceptualized as a behavioral construct composed of interrelated behaviors varying in terms of their severity, and their categorizations as active or passive, physical or verbal, direct or indirect. Organizational and individual difference antecedents predict the frequency with which employees report engaging in and being the target of aggression. Organizational antecedents, particularly job stress, are more strongly related to reports of being the target of aggression than reports of engaging in aggression. Individual differences antecedents, particularly trait anger and reactions to anger, are more strongly related to reports of engaging in aggression than reports of being the target of aggression. Reported frequencies of experiencing aggression (either as a target or an aggressor) were positively related to work withdrawal behaviors, negatively related to job satisfaction, and positively related to reported job withdrawal behaviors indirectly through job satisfaction. Results of the interviews and descriptions of specific angry or aggressive incidents were consistent with those of the questionnaire data. The overall pattern of results strongly supports the validity of a scale developed to assess aggressive experiences on the job. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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