An Approach–Avoidance Framework of Workplace Aggression

D. Lance Ferris, Ming Yan*, Vivien K. G. Lim, Yuanyi Chen, Shereen Fatimah

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    108 Citations (Scopus)


    The number of constructs developed to assess workplace aggression has flourished in recent years, leading to confusion over what meaningful differences exist (if any) between the constructs. We argue that one way to frame the field of workplace aggression is via approach-avoidance principles, with various workplace aggression constructs (e.g., abusive supervision, supervisor undermining, and workplace ostracism) differentially predicting specific approach or avoidance emotions and behaviors. Using two multi-wave field samples of employees, we demonstrate the utility of approach- avoidance principles in conceptualizing workplace aggression constructs, as well as the processes and boundary conditions through which they uniquely influence outcomes. Implications for the workplace aggression literature are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1777-1800
    Number of pages24
    JournalAcademy of Management Journal
    Issue number5
    Early online date10 Sept 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
    • Strategy and Management
    • Management of Technology and Innovation


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