Managing in Fear: Handling Hostile Employees
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly two million workers report being victims of workplace violence each year. This critical incident depicts Jared, the manager of an auto body shop, in a potentially violent situation with his employee, Alex. The decision point of this incident ensued when Jared was threatened with immediate bodily harm by Alex after Jared instructed Alex to redo some of his auto body work. Jared had heard complaints and rumors of Alex being a violent person, but he had never experienced it firsthand until this incident. Fear, personal safety, and saving face with employees all complicated the immediate decision Jared now had to make. How should he respond in this situation?
In completing this assignment, students should be able to:
1. Explain how fear affects the decision-making process
2. Describe strategies for effectively preventing violence in the workplace
3. Evaluate strategies for minimizing a violent situation in the workplace in case prevention strategies break down
This incident is most appropriate for graduate and undergraduate courses in organizational behavior, human resources, leadership development, and conflict resolution, as well as other courses concerning human interaction in the workplace.