In the results section that follows, we first identify and then compare and contrast the display rules and anger norms for five of the work units—nursing home, social work department, labor organization, college coaching unit, and hospital surgical center. Since two other units (the women’s health clinic and the social work unit in Singapore) have norms that closely parallel those of the nursing home, we do not describe them in as much detail, but include exemplary quotes along with those provided for the nursing home. Next, we report MDS results of anger outcomes. Then we examine the relationships between anger expressions, work unit anger norms and outcomes. We provide extensive description of our results for each work unit in the text. Additional quotes and descriptive statistics are displayed in tabular form. Our results are then summarized in a model suggesting relationships among the key constructs.
Work Unit Anger Norms
While we initially selected work units to represent two polarities of anger norms (suppressing vs. legitimating), as we analyzed the data, we found that there was more variation between organizations than we expected. We found that two of our work units (U.S. social workers and the hospital surgical center) fell between these extremes, suggesting a continuum rather than a dichotomy of anger contexts. As explained below, these work units in the middle viewed anger expressions differently depending upon the specifics of the situation (a tendency we label as “contingent” norms). To analyze norms we evaluated each work unit on three criteria. The first is the type of anger norms in each work unit: suppressing, legitimating or contingent norms. The second criterion is strength and clarity of anger norms. We relied primarily on these first two criteria to categorize the work units by anger norms. The third criterion, source of anger norms, is more variable across the work units.
Nursing Home. The nursing home exhibited clear and strong anger suppressing norms. The two display rules were: 1) do not show anger in front of patients or their families; and 2) when you feel angry discuss the issue with your supervisor. In this setting 90% of respondents explicitly described at least one and usually both rules, indicating strong and pervasive recognition of the rules.