Perspectives on and reactions to workplace bullying: Implications for human resource management

Project: Externally funded project

Project Details


The aim of this project is to analyze perceptions and outcomes of workplace bullying and examine implications for organizational measures. In addition, it seeks to analyze the relationship between human resource management (HRM) and bullying, by examining human resource professionals' views and perceptions of workplace bullying in different countries. The project consists of two subprojects, both related to the same theme and both involving data collection in multiple countries.

The first subproject aims to analyze bullying from a HRM perspective, so far largely missing in literature. More precisely the aims are to analyze how HR professionals define and view bullying, how HR professionals see their role in preventing workplace bullying and what they see as the best ways to prevent and intervene in bullying. The study is undertaken as an interview study with HR Professionals in 14 different countries across all six continents.

The second subproject uses social exchange theory as the theoretical lens to increase our understanding of the negative effects of bullying and how appropriate organizational measures can buffer against the negative impact. The study seeks to analyze the consequences of workplace bullying beyond the target-perpetrator relationship by also analyzing the effects on job satisfaction, affective commitment and turnover intentions of team members. In particular, the study highlights the role of organizational injustice, psychological contract breach and perceived organizational support for explaining the degree of negative outcomes. This subproject is undertaken as a survey study in different sectors. Data are collected in Finland and Belgium.

Both studies address workplace bullying and a sustainable working life and involve international collaboration. A key challenge for politicians and decision-makers across Europe is to lengthen the work careers of employees as the population grows older. By increasing our understanding of the processes leading up to bullying and effective responses we may thus be better equipped to address one of many factors contributing to early retirements and loss of productivity.
Effective start/end date01.01.201431.12.2018


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