Prevention of and interventions in workplace bullying: A global study of human resource professionals’ reflections on preferred action

Denise Salin, Renee L. Cowan, Oluwakemi Adewumi, Eleni Apospori, Jaime Bochantin, Premilla D'Cruz, Nikola Djurkovic, Katarzyna Durniat, Jordi Escartín, Jing Guo, Idil Isik, Sabine T. Koeszegi, Darcy McCormack, Silvia Inés Monserrat, Miguel R. Olivas-Luján, Eva Zedlacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to analyze Human Resource Professionals’ reflections on the prevention of and intervention in workplace bullying across different countries. More specifically, the study sought to identify what actions were, in the experience of human resource professionals, best to prevent and intervene in bullying and uncover organizations’ motives for engaging in such work. The study was conducted through semi-structured interviews (n = 214) in 14 different countries/regions, representing all continents and all GLOBE cultural clusters. Qualitative content analysis was performed to analyze the material. The findings indicate that bullying was largely conceptualized as a productivity and cost issue, and that was largely driving efforts to counter bullying. Training and policies were highlighted as preferred means to prevent bullying across countries. In contrast, there were large national differences in terms of preferences for either disciplinary or reconciliatory approaches to intervene in bullying. This study advances our understanding of what human resource professionals consider preferred ways of managing workplace bullying, and adds to our understanding of cross-national differences and similarities in views of this phenomenon. As such, the results are of relevance to both practitioners and scholars.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)2622-2644
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Bullying
  • human resource professionals
  • intervention
  • multi-country study
  • prevention
  • qualitative content analysis

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