Sample Article Review on Negative relationships in the workplace by Rachel L. Morrison

The article “Negative relationships in the workplace: A qualitative study”, authored by Rachel L. Morrison and Terry Nolan, explores the concept of workplace relationship with the objective of determining the causes and consequences of workplace enemies. In the paper, Morrison and Nolan start by recognizing that the description of negative relationships in the workplace is unreal, given the lack of emphasis placed on the subject by researchers. They further point out that the causes of such perceived negative relationships are multifaceted. From the article, the findings show that employee work roles and relationships are often defined by their strongly held beliefs or perceptions of those relationships. Misunderstandings may also escalate into strong negative relationships, which affect the workplace experiences of those involved.

The researchers used a qualitative approach with a self-administered internet-based questionnaire to collect data from 412 demographically varied participants. The questionnaire was meant to collect data on the individual experiences of participants with regards to various attributes of the workplace including communication, emotional outcomes, frustration, stress, and cooperation among others. From the findings, it was established that negative work relationships cause individual distraction, reducing the quality and quantity of the work they perform. These outcomes are common across different organizational types and are indiscriminate of the cause of the negative relations. The perceived causes of the negative workplace relationships on the other hand include factors such as: lack of support by the management, poor interpersonal skills among leaders, and poor communication skills from leaders, disorganization and any other systemic factors that create a negative work environment. The outcomes include emotional distress, job dissatisfaction and general lack of motivation.

These findings can be used in the design of future studies to focus on strategies that employers and managers can use to prevent the escalation of any interpersonal relationship issues in the workplace.



Morrison, R.L., & Nolan, T. (2007). Negative relationships in the workplace: A qualitative study. Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 4(3), 203-221.