Separating Fact from Fiction about Workplace Violence

Source: John J. Matchulat, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 33, no. 2, Autumn 2007

Consultants, attorneys, and others have publicized some alarming information concerning the extent of violence in the nation’s workplaces. Yet, there is often a vast disparity in the statistics covering seemingly identical types of violence, depending on the author and his or her sources of data. Consequently, observations and conclusions as to the nature and extent of workplace violence vary significantly. Additionally, some generalized statements made about workplace violence, not based on statistical data, convey somewhat confusing and misleading conclusions. This article reconciles the varying statistical information as well as provides insight into whether some commonly-held views about workplace violence are fact, fiction, or possess elements of both.

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