About Workplace Violence

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Workplace violence is any act of physical attack, intimidation, harassment, or other hostile behavior that occurs while an employee is at work. These behaviors include murder as well as physical and verbal abuse, threats, and assault. It affects and encompasses not only the employees but also guests, clients, and consumers. Workplace violence is a result of a number of reasons, including social background, psychological disorders, stress, and other problems like workplace misunderstanding (Baron & Neuman, 2006). Workplace violence can be roughly classified into a number of forms based on the causes. This is a form of violence perpetrated by a current or a former employee, whereby they may threaten fellow employees in the workplace. This kind of violence usually arises from issues within the organization the institution. For instance, one of the employees may feel that the other worker is being favored and they are sidelined. Prejudicial treatment of some cadres of employees may create to tensions that may lead to chaos within the company (Baron & Neuman, 2006).

Customer or Client

The perpetrator here has a legit relation with the firm or the organization, and the victim may be an intern, customer, client, or any other individual linked with the team. For instance, a client may choose to become violent while being attended to, due to dissatisfaction with the service or he or she may be having other hidden intentions.

Criminal Intent

In this type, the individual or individuals involved are not related or linked in any way to the work place or the organization, and it always involves crime. The intention of the violence may constitute robbery, to shoplift or trespass, or an act of terrorism. The offender may apply all means to scare away the workers or may even plan to kill them. Naturally, the acts of terror are meant to harm or kill people (Baron & Neuman, 2006).

Personal relationship

The perpetrator of this type of violence is not connected in any way to the organization but has a relation to the intended victim who happens to be an employee of the organization. Such cases may be those of domestic violence, which spills to the workplace. Such cases interfere with the performance of the employee and may cause disorder in the workplace. One of the key solutions to this type of violence would be to restrict the access of the public to the workplace during working hours. However, this becomes a challenge because it cannot apply to all types of jobs. Also, most workplaces are easily accessible to the public as most are meant to serve them. In such cases, it would be best to identify the perpetrator and bar him or her from accessing the premises in future to avoid a repeat of the situation in future.

Another quick remedy would be to transfer the affected individuals to other branches of the organization, or to a work station within the organization whose access is controlled. This move will also assist the employee in dealing with the trauma and shame caused by the incident. However, this may also be impossible due to the nature of work or the organization. Taking disciplinary action against the offender would also deter him or her in the future. Most importantly, counseling would help both the offender and the victim to settle their differences at home and not to transfer them to the workplace (Schat & Kelloway, 2003)


Baron, RA; Neuman, HA. (2006). "Workplace violence and workplace aggression: Evidence on their relative frequency and potential causes". Aggressive Behavior 22: 161-173.

Schat, A. C., & Kelloway, E. K. (2003). Reducing the adverse consequences of workplace aggression and violence: the buffering effects of organizational support. Journal of occupational health psychology, 8(2), 110.

March 02, 2023

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