All people understand fear, and the basic notion of fight or flight. Typically when most people talk of fear they can readily identify experiences, thoughts, concepts that were truly frightening, somehow caused them to be afraid or anxious, possibly even terrified. Most people will not discuss their workplaces, yet we (most people) spend the vast majority of our waking day at our workplaces and/or thinking about our work. Most of us rely upon our workplaces to attain our economic, and emotional security, as well as some degree of ego strength/self-esteem, and many other key human needs. This article focuses on the sources of fear that people experience day in and day out in their work lives.
This article presents the voice of more than seven hundred (college educated or more) people as they responded to our research questions; “What do you fear at Work?” and “How do you deal with the stress that is caused by your fear?” Our purpose is to make a contribution to the literature of fear in the workplace, as well as to present managers and leaders in organizations some insight/s into how prevalent fear is at work and the potential damaging consequences.
A second article is being completed by Dr. Gibaldi and Dr. Hegarty and will be completed and submitted for publication in early March. Additional research studies will follow.