Workplace Violence and Young Workers
The literature suggests that a greater number of employees are becoming victims of violence in the workplace. Despite this growing concern, little research has been conducted examining the incidence and effect of workplace violence among young workers. The first objective of this exploratory study is to examine the frequency of a wide range of violent behaviors directed against young workers. The findings suggest that young workers are subject to six forms of workplace violence; 1) Work-Related Aggression; 2) Psychological Violence; 3) Bullying; 4) Ostracizing; 5) Indirect Violence; and, 5) Direct Violence. The second objective is to examine the relationship between the various forms of violence and its consequences. Young workers who were targets of work-aggression were more likely to be unproductive and harbour intentions to quit. Moreover, these workers were more likely to feel that there was no point in reporting wrongdoings or complaining, because their opinions were not heard by management. Young workers who were bullied or ostracized by other organizational members were more likely to develop stress-related disorders such as aches and pains, trouble concentrating, panic attacks, and depression. Young workers who were victims of direct physical violence were unexpectedly less likely to quit. Managerial implications and future research direction will be discussed.
Keywords: Workplace Violence, Young Workers, Age Discrimination
Dr. Joanne D. Leck
Associate Dean (Academic), School of Management, University of Ottawa