Consequences of workplace violence behaviors in Jordanian public hospitals

Publication Date03 Apr 2018
AuthorAhmed Abdelhalim Al-Shiyab,Raed Ismail Ababneh
Consequences of workplace
violence behaviors in Jordanian
public hospitals
Ahmed Abdelhalim Al-Shiyab and Raed Ismail Ababneh
Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences,
Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the consequences of workplace violence against
healthcare staff in Jordanian public hospitals.
Design/methodology/approach A convenient sample included 334 physicians and nurses employed in
eight different public hospitals, different departments and different working shifts were surveyed by filling
the designed questionnaire.
Findings The findings indicated workplace violence had a clear moderate impact on the respondents
interaction with patients, performing work responsibilities, ability of making decisions, and professional
career. The most frequent workplace violence consequences were damaging staffs personality and prestige,
increasing laziness and unwillingness to serve patients. Workplace violence consequences also included
aggressive behavior, fear while dealing with patients, increase job insecurity, and lack of professional
responsibility. In addition, demographic variables such as gender, education, job title, working shift, and
income showed statistical significant differences in the attitudes of participants toward the consequences of
workplace violence.
Practical implications This study highlighted the necessity of healthcare policy makers and hospital
administrators to establish violence free and safe working environments in order to retain qualified
healthcare staff that in turn improves the health services quality.
Originality/value There is a lack of research and documentation on violence in the healthcare settings in
developing countries. This study is one of the first to examine the consequences of workplace violence that
affect public physicians and nurses.
Keywords Jordan, Healthcare, Public hospitals, Workplace violence consequences
Paper type Research paper
Research has revealed that workplace violence against healthcare personnel has been
increasing (Oweis and Diabat, 2005; Alquisi, 2016). According to the National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health, workplace violence is defined as any physical assault,
threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in the workplace (NIOSH, 1999). The
American Nurses Association (1994, p. 1) broadly defines violence as a range of behavior
from verbal abuse, threats, and unwanted sexual advances to physical assault and at the
extreme, homicide.
Violence at work against healthcare personnel is a widespread problem in
developing and developed countries (Albashtawy, 2013; AbuAlrub and Alasmar, 2014).
Elliott (1997) indicated that healthcare providers are at 16 times greater risk of violence
than other employees. In Turkey, Celik et al. (2007) found that nurses had a high
prevalence of verbal violence (91 percent) in contrast to the prevalence of physical abuse
(33 percent). A recent study by Spector et al. (2014) that conducted a meta-analysis of
136 studies all over the world reported that overall violence exposure rates were
36 percent for physical violence, 70 percent for nonphysical violence, and 40 percent for
bullying. In addition, rates of exposure varied by world region, with the highest rates
for physical violence in the Anglo region, and the highest rates of nonphysical violence
and bullying in the Middle East. Patientsfamilies/friends were the most common
source of violence in the Middle East.
Employee Relations
Vol. 40 No. 3, 2018
pp. 515-528
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/ER-02-2017-0043
Received 26 February 2017
Revised 29 September 2017
8 November 2017
Accepted 10 November 2017
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
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