Triggers of Revenge in the Workplace: A Theoretical Framework Illustrated Through Accounts from Avengers
Posted: 25 Jan 2008
Date Written: 2007
In this paper, I present a theoretical framework specifying how and why certain events trigger revenge motives in organizational settings. Drawing upon the multiple-needs model of justice (Cropanzano, Byrne, Bobocel, & Rupp, 2001) and a model delineating how perceptions of fairness can change (Jones & Skarlicki, in press), I propose that revenge motives are triggered by events that threaten or violate important psychological needs thereby arousing specific justice motives. Through revenge, individuals attempt to repair and address the affected needs and motives. In this paper, theoretical assertions are illustrated through findings from interviews conducted with individuals who engaged in revenge at work. I conclude by discussing the implications of the proposed framework for conflict management.
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