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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2012

Steven H. Appelbaum, Gary Semerjian and Krishan Mohan

This paper's aim is to examine workplace bullying – what it is and its causes, consequences – and to offer managers control systems on how to counter, reduce or eliminate

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper's aim is to examine workplace bullying – what it is and its causes, consequences – and to offer managers control systems on how to counter, reduce or eliminate it. The scale of bullying in the workplace is quite alarming – it is estimated that 1.7 million Americans and 11 percent of British workers have experienced bullying at work in the last six months. Until now the topic has many problems identified but limited solutions. This article attempts to close that gap.

Design/methodology/approach

The two‐part article begins with a review of definitions/descriptions of workplace bullying. Next, an exploratory look at the consequences of workplace bullying is presented and demonstrates its impact on victims and organizations. Moreover, a summary of potential sources will be exposed ranging from personality traits to organizational constructs. Finally, the article will approach three organizational strategies that have been proven to act as control systems towards workplace bullying.

Findings

It is found that transformational and ethical leadership are both very effective tools for managers to counter workplace bullying and that the instauration of an ethical climate in the workplace appears to be the most effective in avoiding workplace bullying from forming.

Research limitations/implications

The paper does not compare control systems against one another and does not explore the effectiveness of bullying predictors.

Originality/value

The paper offers a comprehensive approach in understanding workplace bullying, its causes and its consequences. As well, it offers tools to managers on control systems designed to counter it. The topic is quite new in the literature and very relevant in terms of incidents that are repeated in the popular press but limited in terms of research articles.

Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Michael Sheehan and John Griffiths

The purpose of this paper is to extend awareness that workplace bullying impacts on the health of individuals both within and outside the workplace and that there are…

3954

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend awareness that workplace bullying impacts on the health of individuals both within and outside the workplace and that there are implications for workplace health management.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper contextualises the problem of workplace bullying and workplace health management and introduces the five articles in the special issue.

Findings

Workplace health management is becoming more prominent in some organizations and workplace health management, and a corporate culture based on partnership, trust and respect, offers considerable potential to move the agenda forward. Moreover, there appears to be a paucity of knowledge available as to how workplace health management strategies and programmes impact on organizational culture and assembling and sharing such a knowledge base could be a useful step.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is required to extend the studies presented and to address workplace bullying from the perspective of workplace health management.

Practical implications

Research is required to explore the extent to which the potential of workplace health management programmes to impact positively on corporate approaches to bullying and harassment has been realised and how those programmes have influenced corporate culture.

Social implications

A partnership approach to knowledge creation and sharing has the most potential for successful outcomes and accords closely with the inferred ideals of the Luxembourg Declaration for Workplace Health promotion.

Originality/value

The paper addresses a perceived gap in the literature linking workplace bullying to the impact on individual health and the implications for workplace health management.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 September 2022

Saima Ahmad, Talat Islam, Premilla D'Cruz and Ernesto Noronha

Adapting a positive business ethics framework, the purpose of this paper is to offer a new perspective to manage bullying at work. Specifically, this paper reports an…

Abstract

Purpose

Adapting a positive business ethics framework, the purpose of this paper is to offer a new perspective to manage bullying at work. Specifically, this paper reports an empirical study which examines how the good work of servant leadership may lower employees’ exposure to workplace bullying, with compassion as a mediator and social cynicism beliefs (SCBs) as a moderator.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were gathered from 337 essential health professionals working in various public and private health-care organisations in Pakistan. Structural equation modelling was used to test the research model.

Findings

This study found that perceived servant leadership helps in lessening employee exposure to workplace bullying by strengthening their compassion. However, SCBs moderate the mediating role of compassion in employees’ perceptions of the servant leadership–bullying relationship.

Research limitations/implications

This study has implications in developing models of leadership to build employees’ empathetic resources to combat workplace bullying. The authors found that servant leadership and workplace compassion, embodying positive, ethical and sustainable attributes, play a crucial role in managing bullying at work by promoting relational dignity.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that examines the relationships between employee perceptions of servant leadership, workplace bullying and employee compassion while considering SCBs as a boundary condition.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 6 July 2016

Leah P. Hollis

Workplace bullying is an emerging topic for researchers considering the impact of abusive behavior on employees (Björkqvist, Österman, & Hjelt-Bäck, 1994; Branch, Ramsay…

Abstract

Workplace bullying is an emerging topic for researchers considering the impact of abusive behavior on employees (Björkqvist, Österman, & Hjelt-Bäck, 1994; Branch, Ramsay, & Barker, 2007; Cowan, 2012; Duffy & Sperry, 2007; Fritz, 2014; Harvey, Heames, Richey, & Leonard, 2006; Liefooghe & Mackenzie, 2010; Matthiesen & Einarsen, 2007; Yamada, 2000; Zabrodska & Kveton, 2013). European trends, corporate cultures, and the target’s wellness have also been the focus of other studies on workplace bullying (Constanti & Gibbs, 2004; Djurkovic, McCormack, & Casimir, 2008; Query & Hanely, 2010; Thomas, 2005); yet as was stated in the initial chapter, few studies considered the impact of workplace bullying on American higher education. More specifically, no empirical studies considered the impact of workplace bullying in America’s community colleges or the people of color who work at community colleges. Consequently, Hollis has replicated her study of four-year colleges and universities (2015) and applied the procedures to the community college sector. This analysis specifically reflecting on people of color at community colleges utilizes the data set, which was the subject of analysis in Chapter 1. Within the community college sample, 26% were people of color. Further, 73% of the respondents of color reported being affected by workplace bullying. Therefore, this study may be of interest to diversity officers or any personnel interested in creating and maintaining a healthy work environment for all community college staff, regardless of color.

Details

The Coercive Community College: Bullying and its Costly Impact on the Mission to Serve Underrepresented Populations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-597-3

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2022

Khahan Na-Nan, Busaya Virakul, Montree Piriyakul and Darlene Fern Russ-Eft

This paper aims to develop and test an instrument to measure workplace bullying in the Thai context.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop and test an instrument to measure workplace bullying in the Thai context.

Design/methodology/approach

The research has three phases. Phase 1 involved the development of an instrument and constructs/items as well as testing of content validity and reliability. Phase 2 used exploratory factor analysis to identify the appropriate constructs and items to be included in the instrument. Phase 3 consisted of confirmatory factor analyses to confirm that the measurement instrument built in this research is effective for measuring workplace bullying. Data were collected through interviews of experts and stakeholders in human resource (HR), and through online questionnaires completed by 340 HR employees in Thailand.

Findings

Results revealed that workplace bullying can be classified into three types: work-related bullying, personal-related bullying and physical-related bullying. Findings confirmed the constructs using theoretical concepts and empirical evidence with values of χ2 = 120.473, df = 98, p = 0.061, χ2/df = 1.229, goodness of fit index = 0.961, adjusted goodness of fit index = 0.938, Tucker-Lewis Index = 0.992, comparative fit index = 0.994 and root mean square error of approximation = 0.026.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study add further knowledge to the field of organizational behaviour and could be valuable for developing management theories regarding building an effective work climate. The three types of workplace bullying (work-related, personal-related and physical-related bullying) can be studied as independent, dependent or mediating variables that can both influence and mediate. Results can be used to explain behavioural aspects of workplace bullying in clear and accurate terms.

Practical implications

The developed instrument can accurately measure levels of workplace bullying behaviours of employees in different organizations with high levels of validity and reliability. Results can be used to develop interventions and guidelines for managing or reducing workplace bullying of employees. The instrument can also be used as a research tool for further studies of bullying behaviour.

Social implications

Diversity, equality and sustainability are characteristics of organizations that have developed an effective and happy work culture. Allowing workplace bullying to occur can negatively affect such a productive organizational climate. Therefore, the research findings have social implications in terms of their ability to monitor workplace, as well as community bullying.

Originality/value

The instrument to measure workplace bullying was developed and improved by blending Western concepts with interview data about workplace bullying behaviours experienced by HR employees in Thailand. The instrument can facilitate the measurement of employee bullying levels in companies and can contribute to future studies of bullying behaviours in organizations or workplaces.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Saima Ahmad, Rukhsana Kalim and Ahmad Kaleem

Despite an extensive history of research into workplace bullying and the psychosomatic harm associated with it in western contexts, research into the occurrence and…

1204

Abstract

Purpose

Despite an extensive history of research into workplace bullying and the psychosomatic harm associated with it in western contexts, research into the occurrence and manifestation of bullying behavior in the academic workplaces of non-western countries is sparse. In response to this gap, the purpose of this paper is to start a research conversation by reporting an empirical enquiry into the occurrence, forms and perceptions of workplace bullying among academics in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was conducted with a representative sample of academics in a large Pakistani province through a cross-sectional survey.

Findings

This study reveals that workplace bullying is prevalent among academics in the Pakistani context, with up to half of them regularly exposed to practices such as excessive work monitoring, undermining of professional competence, lack of recognition of work contributions and obstruction of important work-related matters.

Research limitations/implications

The findings underscore the need for developing broader institutional actions, clear policies and grievance procedures to discourage bullying at work in Pakistan. Higher educational managers will find the results useful for development of anti-bullying policies and codes of conduct.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine the perceptions, occurrence and demographic risk factors associated with workplace bullying among academics in the Pakistani context.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Patrick Rockett, Susan K. Fan, Rocky J. Dwyer and Tommy Foy

The purpose of this qualitative, multiple-case study paper is to determine whether Irish universities have policies and procedures to address workplace bullying; to…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this qualitative, multiple-case study paper is to determine whether Irish universities have policies and procedures to address workplace bullying; to determine the views of HR leaders regarding the efficacy of such policies; to explore the experience of HR leaders in the application of such policies; and, to explore which cost-reduction strategies Irish university HR leaders utilized to manage the consequences of workplace bullying.

Design/methodology/approach

The participants for this multiple-case study consisted of senior manager grade staff with expertise in the area of study from all seven Irish universities. One on one interviews were conducted with participants to gain an understanding of their experience of dealing with workplace bullying. The analysis of their bullying policies and procedures provided insights about their experiences in the application of policy.

Findings

The findings of this study may offer university leaders and a wider audience of managers an understanding of the effect that workplace bullying has on employees and on their organizations.

Practical implications

This study may inform university and business leaders on how to address the problem of workplace bullying effectively.

Originality/value

The findings from this study contribute to the discourse on workplace bullying and may help leaders to understand a phenomenon that costs their institutions a substantial amount in human capital leading to positive social change in their organizations.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Paola Spagnoli and Cristian Balducci

Organizational change eliciting negative outcomes might play a role in the development of workplace bullying. The purpose of this paper is to examine the direct and the…

1596

Abstract

Purpose

Organizational change eliciting negative outcomes might play a role in the development of workplace bullying. The purpose of this paper is to examine the direct and the interaction effect of two particular negative outcomes of organizational change, such as high workload and job insecurity, on workplace bullying.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants in the study were 134 Italian workers who had just experienced an organizational change. A multiple regression analysis, using the stepwise method, was conducted to test for whether workload, job insecurity, and their interactions predicted workplace bullying.

Findings

Results show that high level of workload is related to workplace bullying; job insecurity is not directly related to workplace bullying; the interaction between high workload and job insecurity enhanced the risk for workplace bullying. In particular, when the level of job insecurity is high there is a stronger relationship between workload and bullying, compared to when the level of job insecurity is low.

Research limitations/implications

The cross-sectional design applied does not allow inference on the causal relationships between the predictors and outcomes.

Practical implications

In order to decrease the occurrence of bullying, managers should avoid that employees experience high workload after organizational change by carefully designing the reengineering process. Additionally, they should try to reduce, as far as possible, employee perceptions of job insecurity.

Originality/value

The focus of the study is on the “survivors” after organizational change and on particular interaction of workplace bullying’s causes that could extremely enhance the risk of the phenomena.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2010

Stig Berge Matthiesen and Ståle Einarsen

This article examines the phenomenon and concept of bullying in the workplace. Workplace bullying is a form of interpersonal aggression that can be both flagrant and…

1297

Abstract

This article examines the phenomenon and concept of bullying in the workplace. Workplace bullying is a form of interpersonal aggression that can be both flagrant and subtle, but is mainly characterized by its persistency and long term duration. The relationships between bullying and related concepts such as workplace aggression and interpersonal conflict are discussed. With reference to previous empirical research as well as theoretical contributions, an attempt is made to clarify some important aspects about the phenomenon, such as various subtypes of workplace bullying. Empirical findings on prevalence, antecedents and outcome factors are outlined and reviewed. The paper also discusses the dose-response perspective.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2019

Arpana Rai and Upasna A. Agarwal

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between workplace bullying and EVLN outcomes with psychological contract violation as a mediator and workplace

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between workplace bullying and EVLN outcomes with psychological contract violation as a mediator and workplace friendship as a moderator.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 835 full-time Indian managerial employees working in different Indian organizations.

Findings

Results revealed that workplace bullying positively related to exit and neglect and negatively related to voice and loyalty. PCV mediated bullying–EVLN outcomes relationship and effects of workplace bullying on proposed outcomes were weaker in the presence of high workplace friendship.

Research limitations/implications

A cross-sectional design and use of self-reported questionnaire data are few limitations of this study.

Originality/value

This study adds to the limited literature examining EVLN typology in response to workplace bullying. This study is one of the rare attempts to examine bullying–outcomes relationships in the Indian context.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 40 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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