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WORKPLACE AGGRESSION--THE ICEBERG BENEATH THE TIP OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: EVIDENCE ON ITS FORMS, FREQUENCY, AND TARGETS

ROBERT A. BARON and JOEL H. NEUMAN
Public Administration Quarterly
Vol. 21, No. 4 (WINTER, 1998), pp. 446-464
Published by: SPAEF
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40861725
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
WORKPLACE AGGRESSION--THE ICEBERG BENEATH THE TIP OF WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: EVIDENCE ON ITS FORMS, FREQUENCY, AND TARGETS
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Abstract

This study investigates three hypotheses with respect to workplace aggression--behaviors performed by individuals in order to harm others with whom they work or previously worked: (1) contrary to many media reports, most aggression occurring at work setting does not involve direct, physical assaults; rather, it more typically encompasses relatively subtle (i.e., covert) forms of harm-doing behavior; (2) recent changes in many organizations (e.g., downsizing, increased workforce diversity) have generated conditions that tend to increase the incidence of workplace aggression; (3) workplace aggression is perceived as occurring primarily in a downward direction within organizations so that individuals report being the victim of aggression from supervisors more often than they report aggressing against such targets while the opposite is true with respect to subordinates. A survey of 452 employed persons provided relatively clear support for hypotheses 1 and 2. However, contrary to hypothesis 3, participants reported that they were more frequently the victim than the perpetrator of workplace aggression with respect to subordinates as well as supervisors.

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