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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

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.

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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…

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

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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

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2020

Victoria Hogan, Margaret Hodgins, Duncan Lewis, Sarah Maccurtain, Patricia Mannix-McNamara and Lisa Pursell

The purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence of ill-treatment and bullying experienced by Irish workers and to explore individual and organisational predictors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence of ill-treatment and bullying experienced by Irish workers and to explore individual and organisational predictors. The most recent national figures available are specific to bullying and predate the economic recession; therefore, this study is timely and investigates a broader range of negative behaviours.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey study on a national probability sample of Irish employees was conducted (N = 1,764). The study design replicated the methodology employed in the British workplace behaviour study.

Findings

The results showed that 43% of Irish workers had experienced ill-treatment at work over the past two years, with 9% meeting the criteria for experiencing workplace bullying. A number of individual and organisational factors were found to be significantly associated with the experience of ill-treatment at work.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides national-level data on workplace ill-treatment and bullying that are directly comparable to British study findings.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that a significant number of Irish workers experience ill-treatment at work, and that workplace bullying does not appear to have decreased since the last national study was conducted in Ireland.

Social implications

This study is of use to the Irish regulator and persons responsible for managing workplace bullying cases, as it identifies high-risk work situations and contributing individual factors.

Originality/value

This study provides national Irish data on workplace behaviour and ill-treatment following a severe economic recession.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2020

Michele N. Medina-Craven and Kathryn Ostermeier

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between workplace bullying, organizational justice dimensions and intentions to leave. The authors posit that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between workplace bullying, organizational justice dimensions and intentions to leave. The authors posit that workplace bullying is positively related to intentions to leave, and that this effect is transmitted through lower justice perceptions.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors surveyed 146 healthcare workers, using factor analysis and the Preacher and Hayes (2008) PROCESS macro to test their hypotheses.

Findings

The study results indicate that workplace bullying is positively associated with intentions to leave. This effect is transmitted through lower entity-based distributive justice perceptions.

Research limitations/implications

The study sample was cross-sectional and collected at a single point in time. Future research should examine these relationships in a longitudinal method.

Practical implications

The study results suggest that when a healthcare worker experiences bullying in the workplace, they begin to perceive their organization as more unfair. These negative feelings toward their organization lead to a desire to permanently separate from the organization. These results suggest that workplace bullying has serious ramifications for turnover, and that healthcare organizations can mitigate these negative effects by increasing perceptions of organizational justice through being transparent about their decisions and the process going into this decision-making.

Originality/value

These findings extend existing research by empirically testing the effects of workplace bullying on intentions to leave within the healthcare industry.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 March 2020

Anthony A. Liu

The purpose of this paper aims to investigate the relationship between the audit firm's ethical climate and workplace bullying perceived by trainee auditors in Chinese audit firms.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper aims to investigate the relationship between the audit firm's ethical climate and workplace bullying perceived by trainee auditors in Chinese audit firms.

Design/methodology/approach

An Ethical Climate Questionnaire and a Negative Acts Questionnaire are adapted from the existing organization studies and business ethics literature to fit in the audit firm context and are administered in a survey on 205 trainee auditors with a four-month long work placement in audit firms. SPSS is used in statistical analyses and tests.

Findings

This study confirms that some but not all types of organizational ethical climate significantly affect the perceived workplace bullying in audit firms. The results of testing for the relations between workplace bullying and ethical climate after breaking down workplace bullying into the work-related and person-related bullying sub-categories provide some different conclusions. Besides the impacts of the ethical climate on workplace bullying, this paper also finds out that trainee auditor's gender, the leader–subordinate gender difference, firm size and audit engagement team size are more likely to affect the perception of one or more of the bullying categories in audit firms.

Practical implications

This study implies some guidance for the audit firms to establish healthy ethical climates that can help them to recruit, train and retain young skilled auditing professionals.

Social implications

The findings of this study imply that a healthy ethical climate can help develop the audit profession and markets by deterring workplace bullying in audit firms.

Originality/value

This paper extends the organizational studies on the impact of the audit firm's organizational ethical climate on workplace bullying in the auditing profession. It also extends the gender roles in organization studies by stratifying the levels of workplace harassment.

Details

Asian Journal of Accounting Research, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2443-4175

Keywords

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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…

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

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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…

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

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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…

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

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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…

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

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