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Workplace Aggression as a Consequence of Negative Performance Feedback

Management Communication Quarterly (1997), 10 (4), p. 433

22 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2016 Last revised: 16 Dec 2016

Deanna Geddes

Temple University - Department of Human Resource Management; Temple University - Organizational Behavior

Robert Baron

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Date Written: May 1, 1997

Abstract

Providing negative feedback to subordinates is one of the most difficult and stressful interactions in the workplace. Although such encounters may produce necessary changes and improved subordinate performance, they may also prompt retaliation and hostility. In this study, we examined managers' concerns and experiences with respect to this process. In particular, we focused on managers' experiences with aggressive employee reactions to negative feedback. Results suggest that most employee aggression following feedback is verbal, passive, and/or indirect in nature. Physical violence was the least likely form of aggressive reaction encountered by participating managers. Managers also reported one critical incident of aggression following feedback, and described problematic emotional, relational, and task-related consequences. Findings suggest the importance of preparing managers for potentially aggressive responses by employees, encouraging them to deliver negative feedback in a manner that minimizes the likelihood of aggression and considering alternative models with regard to appraisal practices.

Suggested Citation

Geddes, Deanna and Baron, Robert, Workplace Aggression as a Consequence of Negative Performance Feedback (May 1, 1997). Management Communication Quarterly (1997), 10 (4), p. 433. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2731691

Deanna Geddes (Contact Author)

Temple University - Department of Human Resource Management ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Temple University - Organizational Behavior

Philadelphia, PA
United States

Robert Baron

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) ( email )

Troy, NY 12180
United States

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