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Workplace bullying and job burnout: A moderated mediation model of emotional intelligence and hardiness

Shalini Srivastava (Department of OB, Jaipuria Institute of Management Noida, Noida, India)
Banasree Dey (Department of Marketing, Jaipuria Institute of Management Noida, Noida, India)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 19 September 2019

Issue publication date: 10 January 2020




The purpose of this paper is to assess the influence of workplace bullying on job burnout of employees and investigate the mediating role of hardiness in the relationship and the extent to which the mediation is moderated by emotional intelligence.


The present data were collected from 350 employees working in varied companies in the ITES-BPO sectors of Delhi NCR of India. The study used stratified sampling method for good coverage from different departments of the organizations. The present data were collected in two stages following the suggestion given by Podsakoff et al. (2003) so as to minimize common method bias.


The findings suggest that workplace bullying is positively related to job burnout, and workplace bullying is negatively associated with hardiness. Hardiness was also found to be negatively associated with job burnout. It has also been found that workplace bullying is associated with job burnout through hardiness, and emotional intelligence moderates the relationship between hardiness and job burnout. The results also indicate that the indirect effect of workplace bullying on job burnout via hardiness is conditional on emotional intelligence.

Research limitations/implications

As the present study pertains to only one part of India, i.e. Delhi NCR of India, the results cannot be generalized. Future research can take a larger sample for the same. The demographic variables’ effect was out of the scope of this study. If demographics were taken into consideration, it might have resulted in interesting results. Moreover, the employees who were physically present at the time of data collection were asked to respond in a given time frame. One might argue that employees were not given enough time to respond. Future work can also incorporate other sectors so as to do a comparative study between sectors.

Practical implications

Based on the study results, it may be suggested that managers may do well to devise strategies for coping with the phenomenon of workplace bullying and job burnout in employees, to provide a healthy work environment with better employee morale and enhanced productivity.

Social implications

The findings of the study have implications for organizations in the service sector, particularly the BPO-ITES sector examined in the study. This being a customer-focused industry expects employees to ensure meeting deadlines and enhanced customer satisfaction; therefore, it would be worthwhile for managers to help employees in dealing with job stressors in their work environment. It would be useful to raise awareness about workplace bullying and encourage employees to report such incidents while assuring the complete support of the management.


While a review of extant literature indicates that emotional intelligence may lead to a reduction in job burnout of employees, yet, emotional intelligence has not been used previously as a moderator in mitigating the influence of workplace bullying and job burnout. Moreover, the role of hardiness as a mediator in the above-mentioned relationships has not been addressed in previous studies.



Srivastava, S. and Dey, B. (2020), "Workplace bullying and job burnout: A moderated mediation model of emotional intelligence and hardiness", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 183-204.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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