Workplace Aggression Expert Available to Discuss University of Alabama Shooting and Signs of Hostile Tendencies
Media Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations

Contact for Information: Paul Harvey
UNH Department of Management
Feb 15, 2010

Editors and Reporters: UNH Prof. Paul Harvey is available for interviews via Skype. Please contact Lori Wright to make arrangements.

DURHAM, N.H. -- Paul Harvey, assistant professor of management at the University of New Hampshire, is available to discuss the workplace aggression and warning signs of employees who might engage in workplace violence. Harvey says early reports of past incidents involving University of Alabama Prof. Amy Bishop suggest that she fits a “hostile attribution style” and underscores the importance of identifying employees who exhibit the tendencies observed in his research.

According to media reports, on Friday, Feb. 12, 2010, three University of Alabama faculty members were killed when Bishop, who had not been granted tenure, opened fire during a faculty meeting. Three others were injured.

Harvey says managers should try to understand an employee’s personality and watch for a “hostile attribution style” -- people who have a tendency to blame others whenever things go wrong in their lives. This tendency predisposes people to outward expressions of anger that, if not properly managed, can provoke aggressive retaliatory behaviors. High-risk people are usually are easy to identify: they never take responsibility for problems, frequently seek scapegoats, and tend to be angry frequently.