expression reflects the degree to which individuals manage their anger in their organizational setting, a regulation process that has been shown to influence outcomes (Gross 1998). Thus, we define “form of anger expression” as the relative discrepancy between individuals’ felt and expressed emotion. We expected to find anger at both extremes—angry feelings with no control or regulation attempted—contrasted with anger that is controlled to the point there is no direct verbal expression: that is silent toward the target of the anger. In-between these two poles is anger that is regulated or controlled, but still expressed. We refer to these three forms of anger expression as authentic, controlled, and silent.
Authentic. Authentic expression occurs when anger is fully expressed. The individual expresses his or her anger without trying to reduce, restrain, delay or otherwise control the emotion. Authentic anger is directed toward those involved. It involves fully voicing the anger and may include using a stern voice, yelling, swearing or other animated behavior (Scherer 1981).
Controlled. Controlling emotions, especially anger, has been well-researched (Gross 1998) and is often the recommended advice for positive anger management (Dewe and Guest 1990). Individuals feel anger, but control their anger expression by expressing less than the full extent of the felt anger. Respondents reported doing this by raising the issue while restraining the emotion in their voice and modulating their behavior. They also reported trying to control their anger by delaying its expression, or intentionally “cooling off” before addressing the situation (Tavris 1989). Finally, another form of controlled expression involves directing anger to someone who has the authority to do something about the issue (e.g., a supervisor) rather than to the person who triggered the anger. People choose controlled anger expression because they believe it will prevent or reduce the adverse effects of anger episodes or will yield positive outcomes such as resolving the problem.
Silent. Although the distinction between controlled and uncontrolled (or authentic) anger is noted in the psychological literature (c.f., Gross 1998, Gross and John 2003), our interviews revealed a further distinction. We refer to this third type as silent anger. We conceptualize silent anger expression as expressions that are not verbally expressed to those involved who could address the issue (Pinder and