Which Cultural Factors Reduce Retaliatory Behavior within Organizations?

Organizations can improve their complaint process and reduce retaliatory behavior by promoting a culture of collective identity and justice, implementing structures that maintain and restore justice, and through training to reinforce cultural values.

Organizations embracing a culture of inclusivity motivate employees to be more engaged and valued to improve performance and increase the bottom line. Failure to establish and sustain an inclusive culture puts the organization at risk for discrimination and harassment. Employees encountering harassment within an organization often avoid reporting such experiences in fear of retaliation. This systematic review explored retaliation within organizations and their culture. Specifically, this research examined extant scholarly literature regarding retaliation and how senior leaders, managers, and workers can help to reduce it. Following the guidelines from a leading authority in evidence-based research, the Center for Evidence-Based Management (CEBMa), this study identified and assessed data from the articles to determine their relevance and quality to be included. The resulting 19 articles were analyzed, and findings were categorized into four themes: collective identity, justice and respect, leadership support, and team-based approach. This study found that cultivating a culture of trust and respect where a collective identity is established reduces retaliation. Leaders who encourage a team-oriented culture of reporting, communication and support can increase the feeling of inclusivity. Further, this research provides organizations recommendations to help mitigate retaliation in organizations. The qualitative analysis provided consistent evidence that organizational members can reduce retaliation by: (1) promoting a culture of collective identity and justice; (2) using organizational structures that maintain and restore justice; and (3) using training and prosocial relations to reinforce the organization’s cultural values.

Authors: Katie Kemmerer, Juan C. Cruz, Bryce Adams, Denise Breckon

Link: https://doi.org/10.28945/4585

Cite as: Kemmerer, K., Cruz, J.C., Adams, B. and Breckon, D. (2020). Which cultural interventions most effectively reduce retaliatory behavior within organizations. Muma Business Review 4(10). 107-118. https://doi.org/10.28945/4585