Violence in the Workplace 1. Why do you think there has been more workplace violence during the last 30 years then in all previous years? Before beginning, I would like to state my belief that any violence is inspired by fear, and I believe there is more in the world today that inspires fear than there was 30 years ago. I personally cannot imagine letting something go for so long to feel that I had to resort to violence, but do see that people who are more prone to violent behaviors may see it as a solution to a problem. Having stated that, there are a number of explanations for the increase of violence in the workplace.
Many employers, inspired by the idea of a greater profit, lay off employees and then expect the same production from the employees left behind at the same rate of pay. There is often no appreciation shown to employees by their bosses, and the stress of the job can be overwhelming if it is imagined that it goes unappreciated. The media and the movie industry also tend to “romanticize” acts of extreme violence which I believe could serve as a catalyst for a frustrated employee with psychological unbalance. It is relatively easy for just about anybody to purchase a weapon that could be used for an act of workplace violence. . What constitutes workplace aggression? Thomas & Hersen (2002) defines workplace aggression to great extremes, from the relatively benign to the most physically harmful. The least physically harmful examples of aggression are described as actions such as stealing from the company, deliberately working at a slow pace, spreading harmful gossip, or withholding important information from co-workers. Somewhere in the middle of the spectrum there are the acts of sexual harassment, verbal abuse aimed at co-workers, and threats of physical violence.
The most obvious example of workplace aggression is that which causes physical harm to others, such as physical assault. 3. How can an indirect witness to violence be affected? There are many ways witnessing an act of violence can affect someone. PTSD can be caused from this trauma. Some people may become socially withdrawn and unresponsive in an effort to forget about the event ever happened. Others may suffer recurring nightmares that force them to relive the incident and interrupt their normal sleep patterns, or just become more overtly angry and hostile. 4.
What affect do personality traits have on aggressive behavior? Per Taylor, S. & Kluemper, D. (2012), people that are neurotic, disagreeable, and undisciplined are more apt to display aggression at work. Aggressive behaviors in the workplace are most often exhibited by those with mental disorders, brain dysfunction, or are substance abusers. Substance abuse can lead to behaviors that mimic mental disorders, making a person react more overtly than he would normally and cause his reactions to be more irrational. 5. How can a company assess risk factors for violent behaviors?
Companies can assess the possibility of violent behavior of prospective employees by performing a background check or by utilizing a screening interview that poses a question such as asking the prospective employee to describe his reaction to a situation when he has felt mistreated by a supervisor. Personality tests may also be given that test a person’s general mental health. Employers need to be aware of possible legal actions that may be taken if a hiring decision appears to be largely based on the results of a personality test.