These positive outcomes are most likely to be those affecting the interpersonal relationship or work group. This pattern suggests that while individuals may not personally like the anger experience, they often see some good coming from it.
Relationships between Anger Expressions, Work Unit Norms and Anger Outcomes.
Next, we investigate whether type of anger expression and work unit anger norms are related to the outcomes of anger episodes. First, we examine connections between the three forms of anger expression—authentic, controlled and silent (non-verbal)—and the four types of outcomes identified earlier—negative individual, negative social, positive individual and positive social (See Table 1). Following this we investigate the three-way relationship between the three types of work unit anger norms (suppressing, contingent and legitimating), the forms of expression and the four types of outcomes (See Table 2). We use the resultant patterns together with the qualitative data discussed previously to develop a theoretical model of these relationships (Figure 2) presented in the discussion section.
Form of Expression and Outcomes. Table 1 arrays the total counts of the anger episodes by three rows of form of expression and four columns of outcomes. This shows that overall the most common outcomes are positive social outcomes and these occur when authentic and controlled forms of expression are used. These two forms of anger expression also triggered some, but lower percentages of, negative individual outcomes. Silent anger was reported less frequently than either authentic or controlled expressions, but when it is reported the most common outcomes were negative.
Work Unit Norms and Anger Outcomes. Table 2 summarizes all of the anger episodes by type of work unit norms (suppressing, contingent and legitimating) and forms of expression (authentic, controlled and silent) to show the percentages of anger outcomes that occur most frequently. From this chart, we can see the power of work unit norms in prescribing and proscribing forms of anger expression. Most clearly, the categories of anger outcomes reported vary by work unit norms. In settings with suppressing norms, negative individual outcomes are most frequent (38%). In settings with contingent norms, negative individual and positive social outcomes are almost equally common -- 30.5% and 32%.