Making Your Co-Workers Angry Could Haunt You
Lying, Cheating, and Unjust Criticism Are Top Complaints
WebMD News Archive
Jan. 13, 2004 -- Making your co-workers angry could come back
to haunt you. A new study shows anger at the workplace is widespread but so is
Researchers found people get most angry about immoral behavior
at work, such as cheating, lying, or stealing, and when they are treated
unjustly with too much work or excessive criticism.
But the study also showed that making colleagues angry may also
have negative consequences for the offender. The most common reaction to
irritating behavior was to dole out some form of unofficial punishment, such as
gossiping and telling lies about the offender or giving them undesirable
Anger in the Workplace
The results of the study were presented this week at the
British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology Annual
Conference in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
Researchers interviewed 24 men and women in both management and
non-management positions in a variety of workplaces to determine what made them
mad at work and what they did about it.
In addition to immoral behavior and unjust treatment, the study
showed other common causes of anger at the workplace include:
- Others' job incompetence
- People being disrespectful, such as rudeness or arrogance
- Failure to communicate
- Exclusion of others
Researchers also found that prolonged exposure to anger at work
can lead to people considering leaving their jobs and allowing the anger to
affect their home life.
Those findings suggest that anger at work may have long as well
as short-term consequences for both the individual as well as their place of
employment. Therefore, researchers say taking steps to identify causes of anger
in the workplace and reduce it may be worthwhile for all concerned.