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Oluremi B. Ayoko (University of Queensland Oluremi B. Ayoko, University of Queens Business School, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072. E‐mail:
Victor J. Callan (University of Queensland)
Charmine E.J. Härtel (Monash University)

The International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1055-3185

Article publication date: 1 April 2003



Using a multi‐method approach, this paper presents both a qualitative and quantitative examination of workplace conflict, the emotional reactions to bullying and counterproductive behaviors. Three studies were undertaken for the present research. Data for Study 1 emerged from semi‐structured interviews conducted with 50 group leaders and members from six workgroups in two large organizations. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using systematic interpretative techniques. Findings from Study 1 showed that conflict induced a variety of emotional and behavioral responses. Data from Study 2 were collected from 660 employees from 7 public sector organizations using a structured open‐ended survey. Results from Study 2 revealed that the majority of respondents perceived their managers as bullies. Study 3 surveyed 510 staff in 122 workgroups from five organizations. Regression analysis revealed that differing conflict events were associated with bullying, emotional reactions and counterproductive behaviors. In particular, prolonged conflict increased incidents of bullying. Higher levels of bullying were predictive of workplace counterproductive behaviors such as purposely wasting company material and supplies, purposely doing one's work incorrectly and purposely damaging a valuable piece of property belonging to the employer.


Ayoko, O.B., Callan, V.J. and Härtel, C.E.J. (2003), "WORKPLACE CONFLICT, BULLYING, AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVE BEHAVIORS", The International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 283-301.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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