this ratio of men and women is typical or slightly more balanced than other studies (c.f. Diefendorff and Richard 2003—90%, Glomb and Liao 2003, Grandey 2003—95%, Pugh 2001—99%). Respondents also included both professional and non-professional workers. The work unit occupations of the respondents included: five labor organizers (three men and two women); eight coaches (four men and four women); seven social workers (six women and one man) from the U.S.; seven additional social workers (6 respondents – 1 man, 5 women) from Singapore, ten nursing home employees (two men and eight women); 16 surgical center employees (three men and 13 women), and 10 employees in a women’s health unit of a medical center.
To determine the clarity of the display rules and the influence of other social norms in each work unit we asked the following questions: “How appropriate is it to express anger here?” and “What would you say are the spoken or unspoken rules about openly expressing anger?” We then looked at the extent of agreement among these respondents as an indication of the anger norms within each unit.
Coding Anger Norms. We coded the data from each set of respondents about the appropriateness of anger within the work unit to look for evidence of whether anger expressions were viewed as useful and valued or whether they were viewed as potentially damaging and discouraged. We also compared the assessments of the interviewees from each work unit to assess the extent to which display rules or other social norms influenced anger expression. We used an iterative process of comparing the data on anger norms (Eisenhardt 1989) from each of the work units to each other and to the literature while examining the similarities and differences.
Forms of Anger Expression. The presence of work unit anger norms suggests that individuals’ expressions of anger are not always consonant with their felt anger; that is, individuals do not express precisely what they feel, particularly in organizations (Hochschild 1983, Morris and Feldman 1996, Rafaeli and Sutton 1989). As Frijda (1986: 401, 405) suggests, “People not only have emotions, they also handle them…Regulation is an essential component of the emotion process.” The form of anger