Organizational Violence, Free Essay

Published: 2022-03-11
Organizational Violence, Free Essay
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Violence Organizational behavior
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1724 words
15 min read

In the recent past, workplace violence (organizational violence) has significantly increased especially with increased organizations' efforts of gaining and maintaining competitive advantage. Incidences of organizational violence have increased to extend beyond threat, harassment and abuse to include assault and homicides. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, more than 16% of the violent crimes in the US take place in the workplace (xxxxxx). The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) carried out in 2010 revealed that 1.9% of the workers were victims of organizational violence in the past one year. The survey results also showed that more than 10.8% workers reported verbal abuse while 5% were victims of threats and humiliating behaviour in less than thirty days before the survey. Another study conducted at the organizational level in 2009 revealed that Turkey (65%), Romania (44%), and Portugal (52%) were among the leading countries with organizations that reported violence or threat of violence at workplace as a major concern (xxxxx). In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation noted that more than 2 million violent offenses take place in the workplace every year (xxxxx). The Justice Department noted that more than 30 workers are killed and other 18,000 assaulted every week (xxxxx). Based on these statistics, it is true to say that the workplace is no longer considered as a sanctuary from criminal offenses. Therefore, it is important to evaluate and determine the causes of this phenomenon and the ways in which it can be prevented.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Causes of Workplace Violence

There are many causes of organizational violence including anger, negative affect, job stress, lack of emotional control by the perpetrator, poor leadership, and abusive managers or supervisors. Although all of these factors contribute to workplace violence, xxxxx argues that continued negative external attribution on the part of the perpetrator and absence of responsiveness to organizational violence are the leading factors that cause workplace violence. An organization characterized by poor leadership, abuse among workers, and does not have strong policies and guidelines for tackling aggression acts a breeding ground for resentment and negative attribution on workers (xxxxx2222).

According to xxxxx14, attribution entails the process in which people go through to understand their environments and the events happening around them. Given that different people have different cultural and personal perspectives, they interpret the organizational events differently and behave according to those interpretations. Many studies have established that people with aggressive and violent behaviour at the workplace are primarily influenced by negative external attribution which could be as a result of continued event for a long time or a single event (xxxxx2xx2xxxx14). In other words, an angry worker who feels unhappy with a perceived injustice relates the cause of his unhappiness to an external player such as the manager, co-worker, or the whole organization. If such employees do not have an internal locus of control, they cannot reflect and evaluate appropriate decisions related to the negative feelings which are generated (xxx4xxxx14).

When the employee experiences more frustrating situations, he or she creates a list of reasons for which to be angry and act violently toward his or her co-workers, manager, or the organization. Xxxxxx2xx4 point out that a significant majority of employees who exhibit violent behaviour at the workplace usually have a pattern of anger and external attribution which takes place for a prolonged period until an event that triggers violent action occurs. The level of aggression exhibited tends to be low but occurrence of many events that trigger the violent behaviour intensifies the aggressiveness especially when the perceived injustice caused anger feelings. With time, the employee commits minor offenses that escalate over time with each time diminishing his or her guilt (xxxx14). Xxxx points out that as the employee's guilt reduces, he feels morally "justified" with his or her actions because he has spent much time in planning how to execute the act against the perceived enemy (xx2xxx4xxx23).

Although it is possible, xxxx argues that there is less likelihood of negative attribution to intensify at the workplace where there is strict policies and rules against aggression and violence. Unfortunately, the statistics of workplace violence indicate that many organizations do not have effective policies hence tolerate violence through ignorance (xxxx8xx11). In fact, studies have revealed that many supervisors ignore concerns from employees about violence retribution or violent incidents (1xx8xx11xx12xx14). Also, some organizational cultures promote autocratic management styles which are risk factors for resentment and aggressiveness amongst the employees. Behaviours such as micromanagement, public humiliation of workers, rigid rules, inadequate support from the management increase the likelihood of aggression and violence. For instance, contrary to what many people think that job dismissal and layoffs increase the incidences of violence at workplace, xxxxx argues that they are the among the best ways of handling circumstances that insinuate a violent activity.

Other several studies on organizational violence have provided the potential causes of workplace violence (xxxxxx; xxxxx; xxxxxx; xxxxx). The causes are divided into social determinants, situational determinants, personal determinants, and internal states and cognitive appraisal. The situational determinants entail the environmental and the situational contexts within which the violent acts are perpetrated. Some of the most common incidences in this context include abandonment of contract, downsizing of the workforce, and layoffs. Xxxx points out that the victims of these events experience frustration and stress which leads to depression, resentment, and hostility. In addition, the survivors experience reduced morale, low trust levels in the management, and increased workloads. Organizational changes such as budget cuts, pay cuts, change in management, and reengineering are attributed to manifestations of hostility.

Personal determinants such as an individual's tolerance level and emotions significantly contribute to organizational violence (xxxxx). Some employees like to work alone and when they have to work in partners, they like to be in charge (Type A behaviour). Others prefer to work with partners and do not have problems with working under someone (Type B behaviour). Studies have shown that people with Type A behaviour get angry fast and manifest more incidences of aggression than those with Type B behaviour. In addition, people with Type A behaviour have high incidences of conflict with their surbodinates and have tendency of showing irritability at the workplace. Another study by xxxxx established that self-monitoring behaviour is related to organizational violence. In particular, the scholar noted that people with self-monitoring behaviour posses social sensitivity and have the tendency of changing their words and actions to suit the desires of other people. On the other hand, employees with low self-monitoring behaviour are less aware and concerned of other people's desires and concerns. For this reason, they tend to be less reconciliatory especially in conflict situations hence high likelihood of aggression. Personal determinants also encompass hostile attribution bias. According to xxxxx, human beings have the tendency of feeling aggrieved and take retaliatory actions when they perceive another person's behaviour as hostile. However, some people interpret hostile intent on the part of others even when the other person has no intent to harm them. Xxxxxx points out that such employees develop expectations that the perceived hostile individual will react to them in an aggressive or hostile manner even before the two interact. As a result, the interaction between the two turns aggressive even when there is insignificant provocation.

Prevention Measures for Organizational Violence

Due to increase in cases of workplace violence, the United States Postal Service developed a violence prevention program that outlined methods of preventing and reducing violence at the workplace. The program focuses on employee selection, organizational climate, security, employee separation or termination, workplace aggression policies, and employee support. These principles have in the recent past proved significantly helpful in tackling organizational violence. The discussion below entails how organizations can implement this program to manage such behaviour.

Employee Selection

As noted earlier, some people are predisposed to react violently to insignificant provocations. It is therefore important to identify such people before they are recruited to the company. This could be achieved through personnel screening and pre-employment testing (xxxxxx). For many years, background data on an employee has been a significant tool in predicting an employee's performance and recently to screen violence-prone employees. It is important to note that this process is not aimed at discovering one minor violent incident in an employee's past but rather to discover a pattern of violent conduct. However, these processes only manage to identify people with overtly aggressive history or those who have been arrested and prosecuted. For this reason, many organizations use pre-employment testing methods. According to xxxxx, pre-employment testing are scales developed to evaluate an individual's likelihood to react violently on-the-job activities. The scales are diverse and the events measured against could range from physical assault, intentional damage, trouble with authority, and hostile customer relations. Structured detailed interviews are also a useful way of identifying potentially aggressive employees.


The security needed in an organization depends on the size of the facility, number of workers, and the nature of business (xxxxx). The security measures installed also range from simple sensitization to installation of security gadgets such as cameras, intercom systems, security guards, and employee access badges. Most of these measures are aimed to protect the facility and its occupants from outsiders as well as to assure the employees of their safety. However, there are negative consequences when employees feel unsafe at the workplace. For example, some employees might start carrying guns or other weapons for their protection. These practices have in the past been associated with increased aggression in the workplace.

Workplace Violence Policies

Constant audits should be conducted to determine how well the existing policies are equipped to handle and curb aggressive acts (xxx7xxx11). The major policy should have zero-tolerance for violence in the workplace. Importantly, the policy should clearly workplace violence, the procedures for reporting it, and the consequences that befall the perpetrators. Some organizations also incorporate ongoing assessment of internal communication, rewards for good employee conduct, onsite supervision, and training employees (xxx11,xxx22). Fundamentally, workplace aggression policies should strive at creating an environment of non-violence. Some of the ways of achieving this include fair treatment and establishment of open communication channels. Xxxxx points out that employees usually take actions that best suit them when the organization does not communicate openly with the employees. These actions could include leaving the organization or aggression toward co-workers.

Although the violence procedures should state the disciplanry actions for aggressive employees, the management shoul...

Cite this page

Organizational Violence, Free Essay. (2022, Mar 11). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism