Trait Anger, Employee Work Behaviors, and the Moderating Role of Problem Focused-Coping

Hakan Ozcelik, Laura Riolli


This study aims to analyze the moderating role of problem-focused coping style in the relationship between trait anger and employees’ withdrawal and taking-charge behaviors. Our sample included 254 employees from two middle-sized organizations, i.e. a medical facility and a financial company, in Northern California. To reduce the common-source and desirability biases, the data regarding taking-charge behaviors were collected from the employees’ supervisors. Our results showed that employees with higher level of trait anger were more likely to engage in taking-charge behaviors, such as identifying and pursuing work-related problems. In addition, trait anger instigated withdrawal behaviors if the employees reported lower levels of problem-focused coping. In contrast, when employees were higher on problem-focused coping, their trait anger was not significantly related to withdrawal behaviors. These results suggest that, when employees take on a more problem-focused approach to manage their stress at work, their trait anger could work for the benefit of these employees and their organization by driving them to identify and solve work-related problems. Our study revealed that trait anger, in itself, is not necessarily a functional or dysfunctional employee characteristic and delineated the moderating role of problem-focused coping style in the relationship between trait anger and work behaviors.


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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