Organizational Violence and Aggression: Development of the Three-Factor Violence Climate Survey

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violence, climate, aggression, work-related stress

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Violence climate, a concept derived from the safety climate literature, may affect violence and aggression at work. This paper builds upon the unidimensional instrument tested by Spector, Coulter, Stockwell, and Matz (2007Spector, P.E., Coulter, M.L., Stockwell, H.G. and Matz, M.W. 2007. Relationships of workplace physical violence and verbal aggression with perceived safety, perceived violence climate, and strains in a healthcare setting. Work & Stress, 21: 117–130.[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). The present instrument, the Violence Climate Survey is a new three-dimensional construct of violence climate consisting of Policies and Procedures, Practices, and Pressure for Unsafe Practices. Using a heterogeneous sample of 216 employees from a variety of organizations in the USA, it was shown that violence climate is significantly related to exposure to physical violence and verbal aggression, physical strains, and psychological strains including job dissatisfaction and negative emotion at work. Exposure to both violence and aggression was associated with all strains. Multiple regression analyses suggested that it was primarily Policies and Pressure that was associated with verbal aggression, whereas mainly Practices was related to physical violence. It is suggested that the construct of violence climate may be a useful subject for further research. In practice, policies may be useful in reducing verbal aggression, but physical violence requires more direct management action and practice.

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Work & Stress, v. 22, issue 2, p. 108-124