Different country, different problems: examining the way immigrants from former USSR experience and cope with workplace aggression.
In this qualitative study I analyze the way immigrant workers experience workplace aggression in Israeli companies, actions taken to deal with aggression and possible actions to be taken in future.
Study participants were immigrant workers, emigrated from former USSR during last 23 years. Their narratives were analyzed for common topics.
Data show that most participants did not take some actions to cope with aggression; however, some mentioned a few different ways. Two participants’ strategies were successful. Employer responses included indifference ...view middle of the document...
The employee suffers the consequence of workplace aggression as well. Unhealthy atmosphere within the company is reflects in financial terms: decreased productivity, increased turnover, the team becomes less cohesive are among numerous possible consequences (Baillien et al, 2008).
Anyone can become the victim of workplace aggression, and yet research shows that there are certain risk factors that could lead to employee’s victimization.
Employees from minority groups are more vulnerable to workplace aggression. People tend to fall victims of bullying, when they cannot afford to lose their job no matter what, when they are a minority, experiencing stress or undergoing an illness (Hogh et al, 2011). Immigrants seem to display these characteristics – finding and keeping a job is always difficult for a newcomer; moving to another country, leaving behind everything dear and familiar, trying to survive in an unknown and often hostile environment is very stressful both physically and psychologically. Bullies always look for the “weakest link”, a person that cannot protect him- or herself, thus making an immigrant a very likely aggression target. In addition, immigrants often lack necessary language skills to defend themselves from verbal aggression and may be more isolated from the social group (Ramsay et al, 2008). On the other hand, the perpetrators might have better good social skills and know their way around the country, as well as the company.
The purpose of this study is to analyze personal narratives of immigrant employees that have experienced workplace aggression in order to find common points and to suggest ways for the immigrants to prevent or cope with workplace aggression in Israeli companies.
The topic was investigated by the means of a qualitative research. This type of research was chosen because quantitative studies give a rather statistical picture without going into details. The value of a qualitative research is that it helps to take a closer look at the phenomenon of workplace aggression and coping with it. Structured interviews were performed with Israeli citizens, all of whom have emigrated from former Soviet Union during past 23 years. Participants were recruited via online blog for Russian-speaking Israelis. Only people who felt that they were victims of workplace aggression at least once during their working carrier were asked to apply.
In this study I describe insidious behavior that immigrants were victims of, focusing on the way the workers felt and acted, the way this experience prepared them to face this problem again as well as possible ways of coping/preventing aggression. I explored workers’ actions or lack of them, links and patterns of events.
II. Theoretical background
1. Workplace aggression
In order to understand nature of aggression towards immigrants from former USSR, one needs to understand the general nature of workplace aggression.
Numerous studies have been conducted on workplace...