Anger expression and suppression at work: causes, characteristics and predictors

Booth, Jill, Ireland, Jane Louise orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5117-5930, Mann, Sandi orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5005-1055, Eslea, Mike J orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1273-0302 and Holyoak, Lynda orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4694-5128 (2017) Anger expression and suppression at work: causes, characteristics and predictors. International Journal of Conflict Management, 28 (3). pp. 368-382. ISSN 1044-4068

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Purpose: The current study aims to explore the causes, characteristics and consequences of workplace anger expression and suppression, with an additional aim of testing the emotional dimension of Affective Events Theory.

Design/methodology/approach: Participants (n=187) from management and non-management positions completed an event-contingent anger diary over a period of four working weeks, alongside measures on trait anger and job satisfaction.

Findings: Over fifty per cent of the sample disclosed anger causing events. In keeping with Affective Events Theory disposition was important, with trait anger higher in those disclosing anger causing events. There appeared a range of factors predicting the expression of anger, with these focused primarily on individual issues and pre-existing emotion rather than work characteristics.

Practical implications:
Originality/value: Through consideration of management and non-management workers and by using a longitudinal design, the study highlights the importance of individual factors in understanding workplace anger. It notes the value in focusing on discrete emotion. The findings offers clear direction for future research that could assist with enhancing models of workplace emotion, particularly if the aim is to account for discrete emotions.

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