Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor's Name

Valentina Bruk-Lee

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Chockalingam Viswesvaran

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Jesse Michel

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Nathan Hiller

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

Workplace Aggression, Stress, Strain, Individual Attributions

Date of Defense

3-25-2015

Abstract

The examination of Workplace Aggression as a global construct conceptualization has gained considerable attention over the past few years as organizations work to better understand and address the occurrence and consequences of this challenging construct. The purpose of this dissertation is to build on previous efforts to validate the appropriateness and usefulness of a global conceptualization of the workplace aggression construct.

This dissertation has been broken up into two parts: Part 1 utilized a Confirmatory Factor Analysis approach in order to assess the existence of workplace aggression as a global construct; Part 2 utilized a series of correlational analyses to examine the relationship between a selection of commonly experienced individual strain based outcomes and the global construct conceptualization assessed in Part 1. Participants were a diverse sample of 219 working individuals from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk participant pool.

Results of Part 1 did not show support for a one-factor global construct conceptualization of the workplace aggression construct. However, support was shown for a higher-order five-factor model of the construct, suggesting that it may be possible to conceptualize workplace aggression as an overarching construct that is made up of separate workplace aggression constructs. Results of Part 2 showed support for the relationships between an existing global construct workplace aggression conceptualization and a series of strain-based outcomes. Utilizing correlational analyses, additional post-hoc analyses showed that individual factors such as emotional intelligence and personality are related to the experience of workplace aggression. Further, utilizing moderated regression analysis, the results demonstrated that individuals experiencing high levels of workplace aggression reported higher job satisfaction when they felt strongly that the aggressive act was highly visible, and similarly, when they felt that there was a clear intent to cause harm.

Overall, the findings of this dissertation do support the need for a simplification of its current state of measurement. Future research should continue to examine workplace aggression in an effort to shed additional light on the structure and usefulness of this complex construct.

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