careful of bringing that into a conversation.” M#2
“Probably the people that I express the most anger against is officials… basically you have [to] learn to control that also because a lot of times no matter how angry you get you can’t change what they call or anything like that. It’s a variable that is just out there that you can’t control. And it’s very frustrating as a coach.” M#6
Within the sports departments, coaches did mention some anger episodes with their superiors, primarily on issues of budget (which provoked significant anger from some coaches) and occasionally about maintenance or scheduling issues for facilities. For example, a coach who described his sport as “second tier” at his university commented,
“Well, I mean the Athletic director, I wouldn’t get like real angry with because he can fire me at the drop of the hat, you know. So I would be more careful with what I say and how I say it with him than I would with anyone else.” M#4-69.
We see that even in those organizations where anger is viewed as valuable and useful, and where there are few explicit display rules (such as college coaching or labor organizations), there are still efforts to control anger through choosing a preferred time or place for anger, using anger strategically to accomplish goals, or not expressing it to those people who might inflict adverse results on the expresser.
College coaches operate rather independently, without a lot of interaction with or dependence on coaches of other sports in the athletic department. The source of anger norms in coaching comes less through organizational socialization or formal education (such as with social workers), but primarily from occupational socialization from years of experience, coaches are typically first athletes, then take lower level coaching positions prior to becoming a head coach. During this time they have opportunities to observe strategies that work well. Across the interviews with coaches anger expressions were reported as one of the useful tools of coaching.
Summary of Work Unit Norms. The nursing home, women’s health center and social workers in Singapore each demonstrated anger suppressing norms, viewing anger as potentially damaging. They had strong, clear prescriptive norms that minimized anger expressions. Also, as we anticipated, the labor union and coaching staff had anger legitimating norms, finding it useful in most situations. The norms in these organizations were less precise than those in suppressed settings, but were maintained through