Posted in Human Resources Terms, Total Reads: 451

Definition: Retaliation

Retaliation, also known as ‘organisational retaliation behaviour’ (ORB) is a form of deviant behaviour at the workplace. It is not another word for harassment or having a hostile workplace, as it does not include employees taking revenge or making a mockery of one another. Rather, it involves people being scared to be able to asset what is rightfully theirs within the organisation.

Retaliation is the sense of an employer discriminating or reacting against an employee, which results in the employee’s reaction. It is top down issue which results when the employee reacts or asserts his rights in response to unfavourable behaviour from his employer. Retaliation is classified into 4 different indicators according to the International Journal on Conflict management, which are affective commitment, turnover intention, work behaviour and rule breaking. All 4 of these fall under the purview of organisational retaliation behaviour.

Also, when employees feel that they are being mistreated at the hands of their employer, it results in retaliation. This can further be classified into three groups:

• Interactional justice: This is defined as the employee’s evaluation of how fairly he is being treated by his superiors, which includes a sense of sincerity, fairness, sensitivity and dignity.

• Procedural justice: this is the employee’s evaluation of how fairly are the policies and rules being implemented for every individual in the organisation. Everyone should be the same for the processes and the outcomes should be distributed fairly.

• Distributive justice: this is the employee’s perception of outcomes like pay and incentives from the organisation.

Employees that feel they are being mistreated or discriminated at have higher chances of showing retaliation in the form of theft or sabotage of office property, and have lower morale, higher turnover, absenteeism and more. On the other hand, employees who feel that they are a part of a fair organisation tend to stick to their employer and work with motivation and enthusiasm to achieve growth and success.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Retaliation along with its overview.


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