Original Articles

Experiences of Managers of Aggression in the Workplace

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 21, issue 2, 2011 , pages: 307–310
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2011.10820461
Author(s): Chris MyburghUniversity of Johannesburg, South Africa, Marie PoggenpoelUniversity of Johannesburg, South Africa, Sumari BreetzkeUniversity of Johannesburg, South Africa


The study explored and described the experiences of workplace aggression by managers in a northern South African district. Participants were seven managers from two medium sized companies. One of the companies was from the dairy industry and the other from the auditors' industry. These participants held managerial positions over other workers for at least one year, were from the same district and could converse fluently in Afrikaans and English. Data were gathered using in-depth phenomenological interviews and analysed by means of open coding. Findings suggest that work place aggression could be confused with ambition, the quality of discipline and conflict, and power play. Managers also observed that while an aggressive management style was effective to get the job done, it could also hamper constructive communication and the quality of work life.

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