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The Role of Trait Anger in the Relationship between Stressors and Counterproductive Work Behaviors: Convergent Findings from Multiple Studies and Methodologies


  • An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2008 Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, San Francisco, as part of the symposium “Affect and Performance: Recent Findings and New Directions for Research” chaired by D. Ispas and E.L. Levine. We thank Paul Spector, Ed Levine, and Neal Ashkanasy for their comments.

Alexandra Ilie, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, PCD4118G, Tampa, FL 33620-7200, USA. Email:


Across three studies, we investigated the moderating role of trait anger in the relationship between workplace stressors and counterproductive work behaviors (CWB). In Study 1, all the variables were measured using self-reports. In Study 2, workplace stressors were measured using co-worker reports, trait anger was measured using significant other reports, and CWB was measured using self-reports. In Study 3, we measured workplace stressors at Time 1, trait anger at Time 2 (6 months later), and objective indicators of CWB at Time 3 (12 months after Time 2). Convergent results were obtained across the three studies, with positive associations between workplace stressors and CWB, trait anger and CWB, and with trait anger moderating the relationship between stressors and CWB.