Harlos 2001) or vented only to uninvolved others outside the work unit who cannot influence the situation. Some employees remain silent because they fear negative repercussions of speaking out; others believe that voicing their complaints will make no difference (Morrison and Milliken 2000, Pinder and Harlos 2001). Nonetheless, we contend that silent anger still represents an expression because anger is typically visible in individuals’ nonverbal behavior (e.g., a shift to a more serious or stoic demeanor or quieter presence than usual, or a tense facial expression).
Coding For Form of Expression. We coded form of expression using the three categories: authentic, controlled, and silent. Authentic anger was coded when each of the following characteristics was present: 1) Anger expression intensity reportedly matched felt anger intensity; 2) anger was expressed immediately; and 3) anger was directed at the person involved. Controlled anger was coded when any one or more of the following were found: 1) Anger was reported to have been expressed to the target at a level less intense than the level at which anger was felt; 2) anger was reduced or delayed to some degree prior to expression; or 3) anger was not directly expressed to the person involved, but to someone with the power to make a difference, such as a supervisor. Silent anger was coded when either: 1) No attempt was made to express the anger verbally; or 2) anger was not expressed to the target but was vented outside of work or to uninvolved coworkers, provided that these recipients were not in a position to fix or address the problem. In most cases anger is still subtly visible to observers through demeanor and behavior, but not verbalized.
Once we established these categories, we had two raters each code a ten percent sample of anger episodes for the three levels of anger expression. Their percent agreement was 82.4% with a significant Cohen’s Kappa (Tb = 3.45, sig.< .001) (Cohen 1968). After the coding discrepancies were resolved, one of the raters coded the remaining data. Examples of episodes coded as authentic anger are exemplified by these two quotes:
“I had two or three [times] with absolute loss of control, so mad I kicked a hole in the wall.”
“We had a big blow out over vacation time….I was very verbal.”
Controlled anger is illustrated by the quote: