The psychological implications of workplace violence - Assignment Example

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Workplace violence is one of the major causes of fatalities in the workplace, especially for women. Violence in the workplace is a wicked and dangerous problem that deprives organizations with efficiency, high productivity, resources, and even the capacity to operate fully…
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Download file to see previous pages Workplace violence is one of the major causes of fatalities in the workplace, especially for women. Violence in the workplace is a wicked and dangerous problem that deprives organizations with efficiency, high productivity, resources, and even the capacity to operate fully. Therefore, workplace violence remains a grave threat to employees and the larger community. This paper argues that victims of workplace violence experience perceived fear and psychological distress or mental problems immediately after the unpleasant incident. These negative outcomes of workplace violence cause dysfunctions in an organization. Hence it is important to implement effective prevention policies against workplace violence. Workplace violence is an issue that demands immediate consideration and prevention. An exact definition of workplace violence can generate more precise statistics and more effective strategies to deal with the issue. For the purposes of this paper, the International Labor Organization (ILO) definition of workplace violence is used (Privitera, 2010, 43): Internal workplace violence is that which takes place between workers, including managers and supervisors; and External workplace violence is that which takes place between workers (and managers and supervisors) and any other person present at the workplace. Although the above definition only highlights the physical features of workplace violence, it does indirectly imply the potential psychological impact of this incident on victims and third parties. Perceived Fear and the Psychological Effect of Workplace Violence Numerous studies have reported the effect of workplace violence on the victims’ psychological or emotional wellbeing, as well as on their self-perception. After a violent incident in the workplace, the victims, those who witnessed the violence, colleagues, peers, family, and other individuals in the organization may go through psychologically distressing outcomes. For the victims and their colleagues it is apparent that the workplace has become an unsafe place. Besides physical injuries, workplace violence usually leads to severe and incapacitating psychological impact. Some examples of the psychological impacts of violence in the workplace are lowered self-worth, distress, vulnerability, anger, fear, depression, denial, humiliation, and guilt. Several researchers have identified post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as an outcome of violence in the workplace among those victimized. Several of the warning signs of PTSD are damaged concentration, weakened memory, recurrent nightmares, disturbance, isolation, bad temper, physiological stimulation, and anxiety (Cavanaugh et al., 2012). Moreover, according to Kamery (2004), employees usually blame themselves for their victimization, and quite often management provokes this self-blaming attitude. Victims of workplace violence immediately feel physical and psychological numbing, distress, denial, and suspicion. Immediately after the unpleasant incident, the victims go through three kinds of effects (Browne-Miller, 2012): (1) withdrawal effects such as truancy, social isolation; reliving effects such as nightmares, recollections; and (3) other effects such as excessive shock, anger, fear, and irritability. Employees who have been involved in interpersonal violence will perhaps suffer from a negative disposition and intensified fear at work. This consequently will lessen employee motivation and satisfaction at work (Mueller & Tschan, 2011). This discovery is significant because it is widely known that employee motivation and satisfaction are an exact determinant of voluntary turnover. Many studies have found out that the lower the employee motivation and satisfaction, the greater the likelihood of voluntary turnover. Thus it is apparent that not merely does workplace violence have a major and considerable psychological effect on victims and other people; in addition, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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