Which cultural interventions most effectively reduce retaliatory behavior within organizations

Denise A Breckon, Juan C Cruz, Katherine Kemmerer, Bryce Adams
Muma Business Review  •  Volume 4  •  2020  •  pp. 107-118
The purpose of this systematic review is to explore retaliation within organizations and their culture. Specifically, this research examines extant scholarly literature regarding retaliation and how senior leaders, managers, and workers can help reduce it. Further, this study provides organizations intervention recommendations to help mitigate retaliation in small and medium organizations.
In this study, complex adaptive systems (CASs) theory was found to be an appropriate mechanism for exploring and understanding how to mitigate retaliation effectively in the workplace. CASs is a people-based, people-driven, and behaviorally focused framework that requires collaboration and shared responsibility among the individual agents and agent-groups sharing a particular system, rather than just the system’s leaders or workers. This qualitative systematic review presents consistent evidence that in organizations retaliation can be reduced by: (1) promoting a culture of collective identity and justice; (2) using structures that maintain and restore justice; and (3) using training and pro-social relations to reinforce the organization’s cultural values. Based on the themes found in the research, three recommendations emerge as cultural interventions that will effectively reduce retaliatory behavior within organizations: (1) institutionalize an organizational culture of collective identity and justice; (2) create a structure that maintains and restores justice; and (3) reinforce values and policies through training and positive social relations.
Collective identity, complaint, complex adaptive systems, inclusive, justice, retaliation, systematic review
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