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Title: Exploring the feeling of embitterment in the workplace
Author: Michailidis, Evie
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 8730
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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Embitterment has been described as the emotion generated in the aftermath of an event experienced as unjust and unfair. Although embitterment is most commonly presented in the work context, research on workplace embitterment has remained scarce due to the fact that the concept of embitterment is rather new. This thesis aimed to shed some light on the prevalence of this emotion, its developmental context, outcomes and ways of treating it. Three studies were carried out. In study 1, results from a cross-sectional study (N = 337) showed that procedural injustice and over-controlling supervision were significant predictors of workplace embitterment. Findings also showed that embitterment contributes significantly to the prediction of increased affective rumination and reduction in detachment, which are indicative of insufficient recovery from work. In study 2, results from a six month longitudinal study design (N = 169) showed that distributive injustice and informational injustice as well as over controlling supervision in Time 1 significantly predicted workplace embitterment six months later. Results also suggested that workplace embitterment in Time 1 significantly predicted reduced levels of work engagement and job satisfaction six months later. In study 3, results from a randomized control trial using participants who were embittered in their workplace showed that participants who completed an expressive writing exercise (N = 23) did not show significantly lower levels of embitterment, affective rumination, higher levels of detachment, work engagement, job satisfaction, either improved sleep quality, compared to participants who completed the factual writing (N = 21). In summary, results from this thesis suggests that breaches in organisational justice, can trigger feelings of workplace embitterment which can impact negatively employees’ ability to psychologically unwind from work, as well as their work engagement and job satisfaction levels. The unfolding of further features of workplace embitterment and the development of interventions to improve this feeling seems a worthwhile future endeavor.
Supervisor: Cropley, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available