Organizational violence and aggression: Development of the three-factor Violence Climate Survey

Stacey R. Kessler, Paul E. Spector, Chu Hsiang Chang, Alissa D. Parr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Violence climate, a concept derived from the safety climate literature, may affect violence and aggression at work. This paper builds upon the unidimensional instrument tested by Spector, Coulter, Stockwell, and Matz (2007). The present instrument, the Violence Climate Survey is a new three-dimensional construct of violence climate consisting of Policies and Procedures, Practices, and Pressure for Unsafe Practices. Using a heterogeneous sample of 216 employees from a variety of organizations in the USA, it was shown that violence climate is significantly related to exposure to physical violence and verbal aggression, physical strains, and psychological strains including job dissatisfaction and negative emotion at work. Exposure to both violence and aggression was associated with all strains. Multiple regression analyses suggested that it was primarily Policies and Pressure that was associated with verbal aggression, whereas mainly Practices was related to physical violence. It is suggested that the construct of violence climate may be a useful subject for further research. In practice, policies may be useful in reducing verbal aggression, but physical violence requires more direct management action and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-124
Number of pages17
JournalWork and Stress
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Aggression
  • Climate
  • Violence
  • Work-related stress


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