Bullying In The Workplace

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Workplace bullying has received growing attention over the past decade in regard to organizational research. Researchers are continually conducting studies exposing the negative consequences of workplace bullying at the level of the individual as well as the organization. For example, people that experience workplace bullying are more likely to call in sick, take unpaid vacation days, leave work early and not stay late when needed, misuse company resources, and are less likely to go above and beyond the call of duty in the workplace (Sperry, 2009). This is detrimental to an organization because it is associated with decreased productivity as well as less overall morale from employees. Similarly, victims of workplace bullying are …show more content…

These terms are synonymous in the field. Furthermore, workplace bullying has been studied under a plethora of names such as employee abuse, aggressive work behavior, interpersonal deviance, social undermining, and workplace incivility. While there are minor differences between each of these concepts, many of them overlap with workplace bullying. The specific actions of workplace bullies vary, but the most common types of workplace bullying include attacking an individual’s personal worldview/private life, withholding pertinent information necessary for success, silent treatment, rumors, sabotage, verbal aggression, deprivation of responsibility, and excessive criticism of work (Adams, 1997; Boddy, 2014; Devonish, 2013; Liefooghe & Mac Davey, 2001). Acts of physical violence tend to be virtually nonexistent in the field of workplace bullying. Workplace bullying is an interpersonal act, but is more specific than workplace deviance. While deviance in the workplace involves challenging others excessively, it does not always include inflicting harm on others (Dunlop & Lee, 2004). Similarly, while bullying is a type of antisocial work behavior, it is more specific in that it is typically directed at an organization or individual (Boddy, …show more content…

In general, organizations that are more bureaucratic tend to have higher instances of workplace bullying (O’Moore, Seigne, McGuire, & Smith, 1998). Similarly, work environments with a culture of bullying tend to only make things worse for victims. For example, high stress businesses such as law firms exhibit high levels of workplace bullying (“Workplace Bullying Institute - WBI - Help, Education, Research,” 2014). These environments also create an “earn-your-keep” culture, which not only encourages bullies to engage in negative acts, it also suggests that this behavior is necessary to prove oneself at work. A dissatisfying work environment can also perpetuate workplace bullying. Einarsen et al. (1994) and Vartia (1996) found strong correlations between the prevalence of workplace bullying and dissatisfaction with the social climate in a workplace. These findings suggest that certain work environments are more conducive (and even encouraging) of workplace

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