Social Psychology of Hospitality





César Ritz Colleges Switzerland

BA in Hospitality Business Management



“Individual Essay”



Submitted on:






Desislava Saravska, 741556

Ivana Stoycheva, 741543

Adnan AlKaltham, 741702


Word Count: 2714



Submitted to:

Dr. Evelina Gillard

Social Psychology of Hospitality (PSY350)

Table of Contents Introduction 3 Natures of Negative Work Behavior 4 Physical Nature 4 Material Nature 4 Psychological Nature 4 Sociocultural Nature 4 Digital Nature 5 Types of Negative Work Behavior in The Nursing Context 5 Criminal Intent 5 Customer or Client 6 Worker on Worker 6 Personal Relationships 6 Comparison Between Different Typologies 6 Criminal Intent vs. Physical, Material, and Sociocultural Natures 6 Customer and Client vs. Digital Nature 7 Worker on Worker vs. Psychological Nature 7 Personal Relationships vs Physical and Psychological 7 Synthesis and Recommendations 8 Tackling Negative Work Behavior 9 Conclusion and Limitations 9 Bibliography 12




Aggression and negative workplace behavior are important topics, which social psychologists examine and study. Typically, human resources departments, examine and aim to prevent bullying and negative work behavior, however, there is the inconsistency of diverse ways to define it as used in everyday language as for some it could be considered as solely the physical harm caused by physical acts, like hitting, punching, or kicking. On the other hand, others consider a more comprehensive way to view it that considers intentional, unintentional verbal, physical, direct, and indirect. It is even suggested that negative work behavior could be an issue of biological causes for instance due to levels of testosterone, however, research continues to examine its causes. Before examining the effects of aggressive behavior, it is first examined whether this act is conducted intentionally or unintentionally, whereby a colleague might accidentally spill coffee on another colleague, thus causing the latter colleague to have negative feelings, however in this case the behavior is unintentional, unlike intentional cases like kicking. Furthermore, where direct aggression takes place when negative behavior is focused directly on harming the victim, indirect could be harder to capture, hence in the case of excluding a co-worker from work gatherings and outings. This paper is primarily concerned with the distinct categories of workplace aggression, and it examines and compares two different approaches to defining workplace aggression, the first is by its nature, which includes, physical, material, psychological, sociocultural, and digital (as presented in Journal in the Frontiers in Psychology). The second classification is established by the University of Iowa and is accepted and practiced by the NIOSH (The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) about nurses and the health care industry; it groups it into acts of criminal intent, customer to the client, a worker on worker and personal relationships. After conducting the research and comparison the paper concludes with a summary and recommendations from both classifications pointing out their limitations, highlighting their importance and usefulness in different service-oriented workplaces, and suggesting different areas for further research and investigation (Myers, D., et al. 2014)


Natures of Negative Work Behavior

Upon conducting research, researchers in the Frontiers in Psychology Journal established different natures of negative work behavior, by examining the operationalizations and conceptualizations of negative work behavior, the different grouping methods, the overlap among diverse types, and the distinguishable features among different types (M. Verschuren, et al, 2021).

Physical Nature

Negative work behavior with a physical nature refers to behavior that causes physical harm to the victim or the violation of organizational rules through physical performance, or alcohol use during work hours. Examples of this nature include biting, punching, and grabbing. Furthermore, within the workplace, negative work behavior could also be associated with physical work violations, for instance, intentional rule-breaking, ineffective work, and withdrawal. Extreme natures of this type include the use of weapons and rape.

Material Nature

Negative work behavior with material nature refers to behavior that harms the material goods of an employee or the organization. Theft, vandalism of the workplace property, and miss usage of equipment that belong to the workplace are all examples of this type. When targeting the organization, this nature could also be referred to as counterproductive, due to the fact that its effect slows down the productive efforts of an organization, like stealing the organization’s tools.

Psychological Nature

Negative work behavior with a psychological nature is a broad term, in which the behavior could be verbal or non-verbal. For instance, yelling, shouting, or swearing are all examples of verbal behavior. On the other hand, non-verbal includes ignoring, negative looks, and neglecting an employee from all work parties. That all behaviours result in psychological damage or harm to employees, hence indirect behaviours could be harder to spot.

Sociocultural Nature

Negative work behavior of sociocultural nature refers to the negative behavior that targets the social and or the cultural background the victim comes from or relates to, that social aspects include different groups and political views. Cultural factors refer to behaviours, belief systems, values, and norms. Within different organizations, the behavior could differ, for instance within certain organizations Muslims could be negatively targeted wherein other Christians might. Moreover, within a specific organization, different employees might exert negative work behavior based on different political views.

Digital Nature

Negative work behavior with digital nature refers to the negative behavior in which there is a use of social media, emails, or the internet. With the rise in the usage of the internet, this issue became more prominent, for instance, it includes the posting of negative comments or pictures targeting the victim. Furthermore, what is different about this nature is that anonymity could present a challenge to those who try to control it, hence the internet is easy and accessible to use for those who do not want to share their identity, so victims are less likely to report it since they could not link it to a specific individual or group, giving the assaulter an opportunity to display extreme behaviours or exposure, since they are not governed like in face-to-face encounters. Additionally, the nature of negative work behavior that a victim could be targeted, even when they are in the comfort of their own houses. For instance, a male individual could be threatening a female employee by hacking her devices and threatening to expose private pictures or information about her on the internet, if she does not agree to pay him, and if the assaulter is using a fake identity, it would be more challenging for the female victim to report him and demand disciplinary actions.

Types of Negative Work Behavior in The Nursing Context

The nursing industry, similarly, to other service-providing industries faces various multiple negative work behavior, therefore a framework has been developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NISOH) (Types of Workplace Violence, 2021) to help better understand and combat negative work behavior (Al‐Qadi, 2021).

Criminal Intent

The first dimension would be negative work behavior with criminal intent, where the assaulter does not necessarily have a relationship with the victim (i.e., the nurse) but participate in committing a crime like mugging or theft. Where a dangerous weapon is often used, as a gun.

Customer or Client

Customers or clients could harm employees in many ways, more specifically within the service industry where employees might not always be protected from such assaults since managers place high importance on the satisfaction and happiness of customers. Additionally, the assault could occur during the working hours of the victim.

Worker on Worker

Employees could harm and cause negative damages to other employees, within the department. Where the assault could be from a superior or a manager thus within different heretical levels, or from employees at the same level, for instance, front desk agents. However, even former employees could be involved in such acts.

Personal Relationships

Another type of which workplace assault could take place is associated with personal relationships of employees, where the significant other or a family member could harm the employee within their workplace.

Comparison Between Different Typologies

Criminal Intent vs. Physical, Material, and Sociocultural Natures

Comparing negative work behavior with criminal intent to various negative work behavior natures, can be closely linked with ones with physical nature, wherein physical nature, some damages are physically exerted, this could be the case with criminal intent, for instance, an assaulter could harm a nurse in the parking garage, causing physical wounds and pains, therefore, in this case, the assault is of both physical nature and criminal intent.

The material nature of negative work behavior would be reflected in a criminal intent sense when the victim’s material goods are harmed or put in jeopardy, for instance, a psychologist might share the location of their house with a client of them, moreover, the client could be involved in conducting a robbery to steal valuable material goods like the Tv or expensive jewelry, hence conducting a criminal act targeting the material goods of the victim.

Interestingly, sociocultural motives could be the cause of criminal intended behavior, where, unlike other types where both the nature and the criminal intent overlap, in the case of sociocultural consideration, it could act as a motivator for the assaulter to conduct a crime that differs in its nature. For instance, a homosexual employee could suffer from criminal attacks from his or her co-workers, simply because their culture and social groups judge and disapprove of homosexuality.

Customer and Client vs. Digital Nature

With the rise of the usage of social media and the internet, digital assaults increase where customers, their family members, or friends could engage in digital assault within a customer or client dynamic. In this case, an attacker could write negative exaggerated comments targeting a specific employee, (i.e., mentioning their name) to harm their reputation and work.

Worker on Worker vs. Psychological Nature

Within workplaces workers on worker negative behavior is more likely to be psychological, since workers are often governed by rules established by the human resources department. Furthermore, a manager could be unfair toward certain employees by unfair treatment and being stricter on them than others, which could be indirect assault. Moreover, in the instances, where a worker directly makes fun of or bullies his or her colleague, this would be an example of negative workplace behavior with a verbal psychological nature, conducted through worker-to-worker dimensions.

Personal Relationships vs Physical and Psychological

For example, a husband of a nurse could follow her to her work and threatens her, moreover, physical implications are also linked to domestic violence that affects the physical or psychological abilities of employees during their working hours, as in them suffering from physical wounds that prevent them from working normally or the unbearable stress and sadness that is caused by an assault caused from persona relationships.




Synthesis and Recommendations

Source Frontiers in Psychology Journal (2021) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Focus General within various workplaces Service-specific (nursing context)
Classification Operationalizations and Conceptualizations Legality
Categories Physical, Material, Psychological, Sociocultural, and Digital. Criminal intent, Customer, Worker on the worker, Personal relationships.


Authors examined Negative Work Behavior, through different lenses, therefore their findings might differ. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health was more concerned with the nursing context, hence examining legality. Furthermore, instead of considering the operationalizations and conceptualizations, they looked more specifically at the macro context, where for instance they answer why do assaulters commit the assault, as in they might have a solely criminal intention and aim to cause harm, additionally customers could be dissatisfied and harm the service provider, through different measures like hitting or spitting. A notable limitation was that they did not analyse the act of the negative work behavior itself and its efficacy. Where within the analysis of the different natures, researchers categorized behaviours and classified them into psychological, material, etc.

Such classifications are justified by the intent of the aim of the study wherein in The Frontiers in Psychology Journal, researchers were concerned with the operational and conceptual implications, that could be applied in various workplaces. On the other hand, since the nursing context is predominantly involved with interaction between customers and employees, legal analysis is vital.

Both frameworks examine psychological harmful effects to a certain extent and categorize them differently, whereas the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Criminal Intent would investigate the motives of which assaulters are engaging in the assault, furthermore by considering personal relationships they were able to identify the extent of the effects a victim might bare, for instance from a significant other of a family member, thus suggesting a psychologically natured.

Tackling Negative Work Behavior

Upon analysis of the various typology of Negative Work Behavior, it is important to point out that to combat and tackle negative work behavior, ethical leadership is recommended. Emphasis is placed on being truthful, fair, and honest . Where an ethical leader draws the line between what is wrong and what is right, seeking justice, integrity, and well-being. Maturity is key in ethical leadership, where leaders keep consistency and demonstration through personal interactions, attitudes, and relationships following ethical leadership principles, a leader would be able to motivate and encourage his or her team to achieve an optimal work environment, furthermore, it is even suggested that a negative perception of organizational culture results in negative work behavior, therefore by implementing ethical leadership, it is possible that certain types of Negative Work Behavior would be limited, for instance, a worker on worker and the multiple natures that take place internally (Göktaş Kulualp and Koçoğlu, 2019).

Conclusion and Limitations

In conclusion, after understanding that negative work behavior could have many causes and drivers, of which some are beyond an organization’s control. It is important to understand its different typology depending on the context in aims to prevent and combat it. As the paper examined multiple natures of negative work behaviours and investigated the differences between psychological, digital, sociocultural, material, and physical. It is suggested that organizations investigate which nature is more likely to occur at their specific organization, wherewith an organization where employees do not tend to bring their precious items with them to work, material natured negative work behavior is less likely to take place, therefore efforts are encouraged to be directed to other natures. For instance, within an establishment where it is noted that there are certain minorities, for instance, members of the LGBTQI+ community, sociocultural and psychological natured negative work behavior could take place; pointing out the direct and indirect behaviours and aiming to prevent it by different ways like ethical leadership. Upon understanding the different types and situations negative workplace behavior takes place, managers or human resources executives would be able to better identify triggering points of situations, aiming to introduce strict disciplinary actions and develop monitoring policies to spot them. On the other hand, when looking into less visible and noted forms, like indirect or psychological natured negative behavior, open communication and ethical leadership might be extremely useful and applicable that in these cases employees would feel comfortable and encouraged to voice out and speak about their concerns to their superiors, in aims to solve the presented issue.

It is suggested that further extensive research be conducted into examining different dimensions of negative work behavior, which was a limitation of this paper. Moreover, examining the different genders and the likelihood of negative work behavior occurring, furthermore, the hierarchal status and its effects, whether is it more common to be a victim of negative work behavior as a female or as an employee filling an entry-level position. Additionally, a limitation was the inability to identify the repetition or occurrence level within specific industries, although the paper examined negative work behavior within the nursing industry context it further suggested investigating whether certain industries, noted a higher volume of such behavior rather than others and then carrying out further analysis of the reasoning and typology.

Examining both general and nursing contexts was a limitation, that other industries were not put in place, that even though hospitality and nursing are similar, being service-oriented, issues that take place within a hospitality context were not discussed, like the negative work behavior housekeepers face during the cleaning of guest’s rooms, the in-room-dinning encounters waiters face while delivering dishes to the guest room (in cases of delay for instance), or the negative behavior guests show to front desk agents if the room is not ready upon check-in.

Furthermore, examining different organizational cultures and the occurrence would be helpful to identify whether certain compared cultures like traditional ones are more likely to experience such assaults. Within the negative work behavior that is involved, organizations could study how could they help and guide the employee if the behavior does not necessarily take place during the work hours and what strategies to implement. It is even suggested to investigate whether age plays a role in workplace negative behavior if younger and less experienced employees face difficulties more often when compared to older more experienced colleagues. The research did not examine aggression through the telephone, even though it looked into digital form, it is even suggested to look into the negative work behavior where employees are picking up calls for the most part, and handling guest requests.






















1. Al‐Qadi, M., 2021. Workplace violence in nursing: A concept analysis.  Journal of Occupational Health, 63(1).

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021.  Types of Workplace Violence. [online] Available at:

[Accessed 23 May 2022].

3. Göktaş Kulualp, H. and Koçoğlu, C., 2019. The Open Door to Prevent Counterproductive Work Behavior: ethical leadership.  Anais Brasileiros de Estudos Turísticos – ABET, 9(1, 2 e 3).

4. M. Verschuren, C., Tims, M. and H. de Lange, A., 2021. A Systematic Review of Negative Work Behavior: Toward an Integrated Definition.  Frontiers in Psychology, [online]

"Order a similar paper and get 100% plagiarism free, professional written paper now!"

Order Now