Title: Organizational, team related and job related risk factors for workplace bullying, violence and sexual harassment in the workplace: A qualitative study
Authors: Baillien, Elfi ×
Neyens, Inge
De Witte, Hans #
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: University of Southern Queensland, Department of Human Resource Management and Employment Relations
Series Title: International Journal of Organisational Behaviour vol:13 issue:2 pages:132-146
Abstract: Most research in the realm of risk factors of negative acts at work—such as bullying, violence and sexual harassment—is based on the experiences of victims. In this qualitative research, a different approach was chosen by performing in-depth interviews of organizational insiders with experience in negative acts at work. The research focus was to detect job, team and organizational risk factors which may lead to victimization or perpetration and to furthermore understand their role in the process of negative acts. Based on a list of possible risk factors detected in previous research, 126 semi-structured interviews were performed. On the level of the job, various aspects of work content, work conditions, work relations and work environment appear to cause or sustain negative acts. On the team and organizational level, lack of balance concerning (1) organizational goals versus employees’ well-being, (2) social atmosphere, or (3) hierarchy may cause and sustain negative acts. Balance regarding each of these aspects appears to prevent as well as terminate negative acts. The results furthermore reveal four processes in which the risk factors may encourage negative acts at work. Firstly, job, team and organizational factors may elicit frustrations or personal strain and may moderate the employee’s coping with this situation. Secondly, job, team and organizational factors may encourage conflicts and may influence the employee’s conflict management style. Thirdly, characteristics of the team and the organization (e.g., a culture of gossip) may directly encourage or enable negative acts. Finally, negative acts as such can influence and change job, team and organizational factors. This, in turn, can promote new frustrations or strains, causing additional bullying, sexual harassment and violence at work.
ISSN: 1440-5377
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Research Centre for Organisation Studies, Leuven
Occupational & Organisational Psychology and Professional Learning - miscellaneous
Work, Organisational and Personnel Psychology
Research Centre for Work and Organisation Studies (WOS Bxl), Campus Brussels
Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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