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).
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 Group Publishing Ltd.
ISSN0268-3946
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1108/JMP-04-2016-0102
Publication dates
Print13 Jan 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited31 Jan 2017
Accepted13 Jan 2017
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/870x2

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