In settings with legitimating norms, positive social outcomes are reported most frequently – 50.5% of outcomes. Thus, our results show that different types of outcomes accrue from anger expression when work unit anger norms differ.
The patterns in the data also show that work unit anger norms and form of expression together shape the pattern of outcomes. Table 3 provides qualitative examples of the outcomes associated with each type of work unit anger norm with different form of expression. When suppressing norms characterize a work unit both authentic and silent forms of expression generate primarily negative outcomes. Controlled forms of expression in this context generate a mix of primarily positive social and negative individual outcomes. This is consistent with emotion labor research suggesting that controlling one’s emotional expression is functional for the organization, but may cause stress for the individual (Cote 2005, Hochschild, 1983). Controlled expressions may generate more positive outcomes than others because it both addresses the problem and is more compatible with the normative context than authentic expressions. In settings with contingent anger norms, both authentic and controlled forms of expression showed slightly more positive social outcomes than negative individual outcomes, indicating that authentic expressions had more positive outcomes in this setting than in suppressed settings. In settings with legitimating norms, the most commonly reported outcomes were positive social following controlled and authentic expressions of anger. Negative outcomes were less common in these settings.
TOWARD A MODEL OF THE OUTCOMES OF ANGER EXPRESSION IN WORK UNITS
This study makes several important contributions to understanding anger at work. We identify an anger context continuum (ACC) wherein work units with anger suppressing norms fall on one end of the continuum, anger legitimating norms are on the other end and work units with contingent anger norms are between the two extremes. We also identify important relationships among work unit norms, the nature of anger expressions and outcomes. In our work, we conceptualize a framework to classify anger outcomes along two separate dimensions -- valence and level. This allows us to identify four categories of anger outcomes that are qualitatively distinct from each other. In addition, we identify sources of anger