Investigating the predictors of workplace embitterment using a longitudinal design

Source: E Michailidis, M Cropley, Occupational Medicine, Advance Access, September 3, 2018
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From the abstract:

Background:
Embitterment has been described as the emotion generated by an event experienced as unjust. Although clinicians working in occupational health services readily recognize features of embitterment in organizations, little attention has been given to workplace embitterment. Research is warranted to identify predictors and features of employees’ embitterment.

Aims:
To explore the predictors and the chronicity of workplace embitterment over 6 months.

Methods:
A longitudinal study investigating the chronicity of workplace embitterment and its antecedents among employees from various occupations. Data were collected by online questionnaires including measures of workplace embitterment, organizational justice and employees’ perceptions of supervisory control.

Results:
The survey was completed by 352 employees at Time 1, and 169 at Time 2. The final sample (assessed at two time points) was 147 employees. The feeling of workplace embitterment appeared to be very stable during the 6-month period. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that perceptions of distributive injustice, informational injustice and employees’ perceptions on supervisory over-control in Time 1 significantly predicted embitterment in Time 2. Only the relationship between employees’ perceptions of supervisory control and embitterment remained significant after controlling for baseline levels of embitterment.

Conclusions:
This study provides evidence for the negative impact perceived organizational injustice can have on employees’ experience of workplace embitterment. Results indicate that employees who perceive their supervisor as being over-controlling are more likely to suffer from workplace embitterment. The finding that workplace embitterment is stable during a 6-month period highlights the need for effective interventions in ameliorating and preventing workplace embitterment.