Dual Thresholds Model of Anger in organizations
A Dual Thresholds Model of Anger in organizations by Geddes and Callister, (2007) provides an explanation on the valence of anger expression outcomes. The model suggests that organizational norms establish emotion thresholds that may be crossed when employees feel anger.
The first “expression threshold” is crossed when an organizational member conveys felt anger to individuals at work who are associated with or able to address the anger-provoking situation.
The second “impropriety threshold” is crossed if or when organizational members go too far while expressing anger such that observers and other company personnel find their actions socially and/or culturally inappropriate (15).
The higher probability of negative outcomes from workplace anger likely will occur in either of two situations.
The first is when organizational members suppress rather than express their anger; they fail to cross the “expression threshold”. Personnel who might be able to address or resolve the anger-provoking condition or event remain unaware of the problem, allowing it to continue, along with the affected individual's anger.
The second is when organizational members cross both thresholds (“double cross”) displaying anger that is perceived as deviant. The angry person is seen as the problem, increasing chances of organizational sanctions against him or her while diverting attention away from the initial anger-provoking incident.
The higher probability of positive outcomes from workplace anger expression likely will occur when one's expressed anger stays in the space between the expression and impropriety thresholds. Here, one expresses anger in a way fellow organizational members find acceptable, prompting exchanges and discussions that may help resolve concerns to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
This space between the thresholds varies among different organizations and also can be changed in organization itself: when the change is directed to support anger displays, the space between the thresholds will be expanded, and when the change is directed to suppressing such displays, the space will be reduced (75), (15).
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