Anger in the Workplace: Understanding the Causes of Aggression and Violence


Anger in the Workplace explores what it means to feel angry at work. Anger has its origins in anxiety that arises from feeling frustrated, humiliated, or threatened at work. Anxiety creates a biological and psychological readiness to act which is guided by whether it is acceptable to feel angry at work. Employees are more likely to act responsibly if they feel that their anger is acceptable. They may also act in ways that are destructive to self, others, and the workplace if they feel that being angry is not acceptable. Managing the development of anger and its expression in the workplace is an important aspect in designing a better workplace. The book defines anger and aggression by synthesizing biological, psychological, and social perspectives. The social acceptability of anger and the fear that it interferes with judgment and results in aggression are discussed, as are sex and gender-based differences in the experience of and expression of anger and aggression. Learning to cope with anger andthe importance of owning one's anger, thinking it through, and acting upon it constructively are also discussed. Depending how anger is acted out, it can be the source of major contributions to innovation and productivity or a major blocker of change and work. The book explores how the workplace is a contributor to feeling angry because it promotes feelings of helplessness, alienation, and worthlessness. Hierarchical organization, power and authority relations, and leadership styles contribute to the development of these feelings. Desire for attachment and the fear of abandonment and desire for autonomy and fear of engulfment in the workplace must be managed to avoid anger. The book concludesby reviewing the relationship between anger and organizational dynamics.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1994


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