A Cold Pot Does Not Boil: A Case Study Of The Virginia Beach City Municipal Center Shooting To Understand Disgruntled Employee Violence
1 online resource (112 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The phenomenon of the violent disgruntled employee is a symptom of increasing mass violence in the U.S. Previous literature on mass violence in the workplace is mostly based on the individual psychologization of attackers. This case study is a reaction to the need for organizational leaders and scholars to critically address (1) the relationship between institutional environments and the development of violence, and (2) why pre-attack behaviors fail to trigger risk response thresholds in some organizations. This study of the Virginia Beach City Municipal Center workplace shooting ends with a discussion of a new approach to understand the cultural, structural, and larger socioeconomic influences that contributed to a violent outcome. The analysis uses high-reliability organizational theory as a central framework to understand how sensemaking within the organizational culture of Virginia Beach City enabled the conditions for violence to occur, and for the pre-attack warning signs to be missed. A focus on organizational culture departs from the dominant focus on individual risk factors and implicates a new critical exploration of how organizational culture can provoke or enable workplace violence in bureaucratic organizations.
BureaucracyMass ShootingOrganizational CultureReliability SensemakingWorkplace Violence
Grano, DanielNorander, Stephanie
Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2021.
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