Workplace aggression and organisational effectiveness: the mediating role of employee engagement

Anya Johnson*, Helena Nguyen, Markus Groth, Les White

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the relationship between the prevalence of workplace aggression and two key outcomes: employee engagement and organisational effectiveness. Drawing on social capital theory, we propose that the level of employee engagement within the organisation helps explain the association between workplace aggression and organisational effectiveness. We used secondary survey data and an important indicator of organisational effectiveness in the healthcare sector (i.e. rates of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs)) from 101 hospitals in NSW, Australia. We found that hospitals with higher rates of workplace aggression had higher rates of patients with HAIs and that employee engagement was an important mechanism that helped explain this effect. These findings underscore the potential benefits of management policies and practices that are aimed at preventing workplace aggression and support greater employee engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-631
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Journal of Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Employee engagement
  • organisational effectiveness
  • social capital theory
  • workplace aggression


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