Assistant Professor of Management Wendy Boswell’s article, “Experiencing Mistreatment at Work: The Role of Grievance Filing, Nature of Mistreatment, and Employee Withdrawal,” has been published in the most recent issue of the Academy of Management Journal.
The study found that employees who felt they had been mistreated at work reported higher intent to quit the organization and perform more job search activity. Whether or not the employee grieved the mistreatment had no effect; it was feeling mistreated that mattered.
Boswell says the results of the study are both positive and negative. “This is semi-good news for grievance systems,” she says. “On the one hand, it doesn’t appear that people are adversely affected by filing a grievance; that is, they aren’t punished for it. On the other hand, such systems are meant to help people address mistreatment at work, yet we only found a ‘neutral role.’ So the question remains as to why such systems do not mitigate the experience of mistreatment in practice.”