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Public Policy and Administration


Olivia Yu


Relational aggression (RA) is a social phenomenon that can severely impact organizational profitability and employee productivity. A gap in the literature exists concerning appropriate interventions to manage RA. The purpose of this study was to explore successful interventions that have been used to manage RA. The theoretical framework was informed by psychological contract theory. Data were collected via semistructured face-to-face interviews with 12 victims, and then analyzed using data management, reading and memorization, description, classification, interpretation, and representation. NVivo software was used to organize the data in this study. The research consisted of 3 subquestions addressing the role of written policies in interventions, common practices and reactions of management, and victims' requests for attention to grievance reports. Five key themes emerged. The first and second pertain to the proactive and reactive role of written policies. The third and fourth focus on management's negative and positive reactions in response to grievance reports. The fifth identifies victims' expectations for their grievance reports. Commonly found interventions include impartially listening to both sides, investigation, restoration of damages, social justice, and identifying root causes for RA in the workplace. Implications for positive social change include enhanced employee well-being and performance and increased organizational effectiveness. Results may lead to positive changes by providing useful information that can be implemented by organizations to prevent and address RA, which can improve employee well-being.