Swearing at Work: The Mixed Outcomes of Profanity

Journal article


Baruch, Y, Prouska, R, Ollier-Malaterre, A and Bunk, J (2017). Swearing at Work: The Mixed Outcomes of Profanity. Journal of Managerial Psychology. 32 (2). https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-04-2016-0102
AuthorsBaruch, Y, Prouska, R, Ollier-Malaterre, A and Bunk, J
Abstract

We explore the use and misuse of swearing in the workplace. Using a qualitative methodology, we interviewed 52 lawyers, medical doctors and business executives in the UK, France, and the U.S. In contrast to much of the incivility and social norms literatures, we find that male and female business executives, lawyers and doctors of all ages admit to swearing. Further, swearing can lead to positive outcomes at the individual, interpersonal and group levels, including stress-relief, communication-enrichment, and socialization-enhancement. An implication for future scholarship is that ‘thinking out of the box’ when exploring emotion related issues can lead to new insights. Practical implications include reconsidering and tolerating incivility under certain conditions. We identified a case in which a negative phenomenon reveals counter-intuitive yet insightful results.

Keywordsworkplace-misbehavior; incivility; profanity; swearing; counter-intuitive; 1503 Business And Management; 1701 Psychology; Business & Management
Year2017
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Journal citation32 (2)
PublisherEmerald
ISSN0268-3946
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-04-2016-0102
Web address (URL)https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JMP-04-2016-0102/full/html
Publication dates
Print13 Jan 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited31 Jan 2017
Accepted13 Jan 2017
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Permalink -

https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/870x2

Download files


Accepted author manuscript
Swearing at Work.pdf
License: CC BY 4.0
File access level: Open

  • 297
    total views
  • 1226
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 1
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Workers’ Voice From The Triangular Employment Relationship Lens: Towards A Conceptual Framework
Oyetunde, K., Prouska, R. and McKearney, A. (2023). Workers’ Voice From The Triangular Employment Relationship Lens: Towards A Conceptual Framework. Employee Relations. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-02-2023-0095
Conceptualising the Nexus between Macro-level ‘Turbulence’ and the Worker Experience
Prouska, R., Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, U., Beauregard, T. A., Psychogios, A. and Nyfoudi, M. (2023). Conceptualising the Nexus between Macro-level ‘Turbulence’ and the Worker Experience. Human Resource Management Journal. https://doi.org/10.1111/1748-8583.12530
Incessant Struggle to be Heard: A Study of Temporary Agency and Platform Workers’ Voice
Oyetunde, K., Prouska, R. and McKearney, A. (2023). Incessant Struggle to be Heard: A Study of Temporary Agency and Platform Workers’ Voice. Academy of Management Proceedings. 2023 (1). https://doi.org/10.5465/amproc.2023.11568abstract
Developing Interculturally Competent Graduates: Meeting Employer Needs in Europe
Prouska, R., Ali, S., Tungtakanpoung, M., Moser, K.S. and Bell, R. (2023). Developing Interculturally Competent Graduates: Meeting Employer Needs in Europe. Academy of Management Proceedings. 2023 (1). https://doi.org/10.5465/amproc.2023.13184abstract
Promoting Sustainability: A Conceptual Framework of ‘Stakeholder Voice’
Prouska, R., Oyetunde, K. and Roper, I. (2023). Promoting Sustainability: A Conceptual Framework of ‘Stakeholder Voice’. Academy of Management Proceedings. 2023 (1). https://doi.org/10.5465/amproc.2023.13212abstract
Independent Culture Review of London Fire Brigade
Afzal, N., Baker, M., Prouska, R., Greenidge, J., Bowman, L., Yarker, J. and Khan, Y. (2022). Independent Culture Review of London Fire Brigade. London London Fire Brigade.
The influence of national culture on employee voice in small and medium enterprises: a cross-cultural perspective
McKearney, A., Prouska, R., Tungtakanpoung, M. and Opute, J. (2022). The influence of national culture on employee voice in small and medium enterprises: a cross-cultural perspective. Employee Relations. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-04-2022-0187
The rhetorics of ‘agile’ and the practices of ‘agile working’: Consequences for the worker experience and uncertain implications for HR practice
Roper, I., Prouska, R. and Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, U. (2022). The rhetorics of ‘agile’ and the practices of ‘agile working’: Consequences for the worker experience and uncertain implications for HR practice. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 33 (22), pp. 4440-4467. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2022.2099751
Solidarity in Action at a Time of Crisis: The Role of Employee Voice in Relation to Communication and Horizontal Solidarity Behaviour
Prouska, R., Nyfoudi, M., Psychogios, A., Szamosi, L.T. and Wilkinson, A. (2022). Solidarity in Action at a Time of Crisis: The Role of Employee Voice in Relation to Communication and Horizontal Solidarity Behaviour. British Journal of Management. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8551.12598
Voice in context: An international comparative study of employee experience with voice in small and medium enterprises
Prouska, R., McKearney, A., Opute, J., Tungtakanpoung, M. and Brewster, C. (2021). Voice in context: An international comparative study of employee experience with voice in small and medium enterprises. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 33 (15), pp. 3149-3174. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2021.1925323
Voice In Non-Traditional Employment Relationships: A Review And Future Research Directions
Oyetunde, K., Prouska, R. and McKearney, A. (2021). Voice In Non-Traditional Employment Relationships: A Review And Future Research Directions. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2021.1964093
The Intercultural Skills Graduates and Businesses in Europe Need Today
Halila, F., Pillalamarri, K., Bell, R., Ali, S., Moser, K., Prouska, R., Tungtakanpoung, M., Godts, I., Mulier, L., Saraç, M. and Bektaş, O. (2020). The Intercultural Skills Graduates and Businesses in Europe Need Today. https://cruseproject.com/skills-report/ European Commission, Erasmus+ proejct.
The determinants of project worker voice in project‐based organisations: An initial conceptualisation and research agenda
Prouska, R. and Kapsali, Maria (2020). The determinants of project worker voice in project‐based organisations: An initial conceptualisation and research agenda. Human Resource Management Journal. 31 (2), pp. 375-391. https://doi.org/10.1111/1748-8583.12312
Employee participation and representation in Central and Eastern Europe
Prouska, R., Avgoustaki, A., Psychogios, Alexandros and Wilkinson, Adrian (2019). Employee participation and representation in Central and Eastern Europe. Economic and Industrial Democracy. https://doi.org/10.1177/0143831x19887805
Introduction - Managing people in small and medium enterprises in turbulent contexts
Psychogios, A and Prouska, R (2019). Introduction - Managing people in small and medium enterprises in turbulent contexts. in: Managing People in Small and Medium Enterprises in Turbulent Contexts (Routledge Studies in Small Business) Oxon Routledge. pp. 1-138
Varieties of crisis and working conditions: A comparative study between Greece and Serbia
Psychogios, A, Szamosi, L, Prouska, R and Brewster, C (2019). Varieties of crisis and working conditions: A comparative study between Greece and Serbia. European Journal of Industrial Relations. 26 (1). https://doi.org/10.1177/0959680119837101
Should I say something? A framework for understanding silence from a line manager’s perspective during an economic crisis
Prouska, R and Psychogios, AG (2018). Should I say something? A framework for understanding silence from a line manager’s perspective during an economic crisis. Economic and Industrial Democracy. 40 (3). https://doi.org/10.1177/0143831X17752869
Enhancing Service-Oriented Behaviors in an Asian Business Context: Lessons From a Pakistani Bank
Fuchs, S, Prouska, R and Psychogios, A (2018). Enhancing Service-Oriented Behaviors in an Asian Business Context: Lessons From a Pakistani Bank. Human Resource Research. 2 (1), pp. 73-94. https://doi.org/10.5296/hrr.v2i1.12652
Creating Positive Employee Change Evaluation: The Role of Different Levels of Organizational Support and Change Participation
Fuchs, S and Prouska, R (2014). Creating Positive Employee Change Evaluation: The Role of Different Levels of Organizational Support and Change Participation. Journal of Change Management. 14 (3), pp. 361 - 383. https://doi.org/10.1080/14697017.2014.885460
The historical trajectory of a peripheral national business system
Kapsali, M and Prouska, R (2014). The historical trajectory of a peripheral national business system. in: Westwood, R, Jack, G, Khan, FR and Frenkel, M (ed.) Core-Periphery Relations and Organisation Studies UK Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 100-120
The impact of global economic crisis and austerity on quality of working life and work-life balance: A capabilities perspective
Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, U, Prouska, R and Beauregard, A (2017). The impact of global economic crisis and austerity on quality of working life and work-life balance: A capabilities perspective. European Management Review. https://doi.org/10.1111/emre.12128
Many hands lighter work? Deciphering the relationship between Adverse Working Conditions and Organization Citizenship Behaviors in SMEs during a severe economic crisis
Psychogios, AG, Nyfoudi, M, Theodorakopoulos, N, Szamosi, LT and Prouska, R (2017). Many hands lighter work? Deciphering the relationship between Adverse Working Conditions and Organization Citizenship Behaviors in SMEs during a severe economic crisis. British Journal of Management. 30 (3), pp. 519-537. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8551.12245
A three-fold framework for understanding HRM practices in South-Eastern European SMEs
Psychogios, AG, Szamosi, LT, Prouska, R and Brewster, C (2016). A three-fold framework for understanding HRM practices in South-Eastern European SMEs. Employee Relations. 38 (3), pp. 310 - 331. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-07-2014-0078
Do not say a word! Conceptualizing employee silence in a long-term crisis context
Prouska, R and Psychogios, AG (2016). Do not say a word! Conceptualizing employee silence in a long-term crisis context. International Journal of Human Resource Management. 28 (5), pp. 885-914. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2016.1212913
Rewarding employees in turbulent economies for improved organisational performance: Exploring SMEs in the South-Eastern European region
Prouska, R, Psychogios, AG and Rexhepi, Y (2016). Rewarding employees in turbulent economies for improved organisational performance: Exploring SMEs in the South-Eastern European region. Personnel Review. 45 (6), pp. 1259 - 1280. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-02-2015-0024
Work-life balance can benefit business during financial crisis and austerity: Human resources (HR) must convince management of the need for a flexible approach
Ayudhya, UCN, Prouska, R and Lewis, S (2015). Work-life balance can benefit business during financial crisis and austerity: Human resources (HR) must convince management of the need for a flexible approach. Human Resource Management International Digest. 23 (5), pp. 25 - 28. https://doi.org/10.1108/HRMID-05-2015-0078