Integrating workplace aggression research: Relational, contextual, and method considerations


Correspondence to: M. Sandy Hershcovis, I. H. Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. E-mail:


The present article takes an integrative perspective on the field of workplace aggression to highlight areas of ambiguity and opportunities for future research. First, by simultaneously examining the perpetrator- and target-focused literatures, we identify a great deal of overlap between predictors and outcomes in the two literatures, giving rise to the question of whether key constructs are predictors, outcomes, or both. Second, we determine that the question of “who is the perpetrator?” and “who is the target?” is considerably more ambiguous than implied within each of these independent literatures. Third, our examination suggests that a greater focus on the relational aspect of workplace aggression is particularly important to enable a more comprehensive understanding of this phenomenon. We examine and critique current methods and measurement and propose different approaches to explore workplace aggression in a more dynamic and contextualized way. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.