Raising voice, risking retaliation: Events following interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace

J Occup Health Psychol. 2003 Oct;8(4):247-65. doi: 10.1037/1076-8998.8.4.247.


This study advances the literature on workplace deviance, addressing retaliation victimization in the context of interpersonal mistreatment. Using survey data from 1,167 public-sector employees, the authors investigated experiences of work retaliation victimization and social retaliation victimization among employees who have vocally resisted interpersonal mistreatment. Regression analyses suggest that different victim voice mechanisms trigger different forms of retaliation, depending on the social positions of the mistreatment victim and instigator. Discriminant function analyses demonstrate lower professional, psychological, and physical well-being among mistreated employees who have been further victimized with retaliation. These analyses also reveal health-related costs associated with victim silence--that is, enduring mistreatment without voicing resistance. Results are interpreted in light of theory on power, emotions, and justice in organizations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude
  • Crime Victims*
  • Data Collection
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Policy
  • Personal Autonomy*
  • Power, Psychological
  • Public Sector*
  • Social Behavior
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Voice
  • Workplace*