The Antecedents and Consequences of Fear at Work

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Jordan, Peter J
Troth, Ashlea
Ashkanasy, Neal M
Humphrey, Ronald H
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Yang, Liu-Qin

Cropanzano, Russell

Daus, Catherine

Martínez-Tur, Vicente

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2020
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Abstract

Despite being identified as a pervasive emotion in the modern workplace (Pfeffer & Sutton, 2000), fear oddly has not received a corresponding amount of attention among management researchers. In fact, Kish-Gephart, Detert, Treviño, and Edmondson (2009, p. 163) observe that we still have much to learn about the nature of fear in workplace settings, including “what it is, how and why it is experienced, and to what effects.” Bennis (1966) notes further that fear has always been a part of the work environment (see also Connelly & Turner, 2018), but it remains an especially important issue in today’s workplaces because of the effects of rapid and ongoing organizational change, which are often linked to uncertain outcomes (Bordia, Hobman, Jones, Gallois, & Callan, 2004; Tiedens & Linton, 2001). Our aim in this chapter is to provide an overview of fear (arising from uncertainty) as a discrete emotion, to identify stimuli that may trigger fear at work, and to identify the potential positive and negative outcomes that can be linked to employees’ fear. We also outline potential pathways for future research on fear of uncertainty in the workplace.

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The Cambridge Handbook of Workplace Affect

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© 2020 Cambridge University Press. This material has been published in The Cambridge Handbook of Workplace Affect edited by Liu-Qin Yang, Russell Cropanzano, Catherine S. Daus & Vicente Martínez-Tur, 10.1017/9781108573887.031. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution or re-use.

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Business and Management

1701

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Jordan, PJ; Troth, A; Ashkanasy, NM; Humphrey, RH, The Antecedents and Consequences of Fear at Work, The Cambridge Handbook of Workplace Affect, 2020, pp. 402-413

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