Academic Article


  • 2022

A lack of ability to defend oneself against bullyingbehaviour is considered a defining aspect of workplacebullying. The aim of the present study was to investi-gate the effects perceived ability to defend has on expo-sure to bullying behaviour, and whether there aregender differences as well as differences regarding thetype of bullying behaviour one is exposed to. The studyis based on a longitudinal probability sample drawnfrom the whole Swedish workforce. The final samplesize (394 participants, 43% men and 57% women)included only those who responded at both time pointsand who reported exposure to at least one bullyingbehaviour. The results showed that perceived ability todefend oneself only had a protective effect on bullyingbehaviours for male targets exposed to direct types ofbullying behaviours. The study is an important contri-bution to the understanding of workplace bullying as aconcept by showing that the perception of being able toprotect oneself from bullying behaviour, in most cases,has little or no effect on the levels of bullying behav-iour, and thereby on further escalation of the exposure,especially for women. An implication of the results isthat organisations and employers must actively inter-vene in the early stages of the bullying process rather than believing that the targeted worker is able to dealwith or...

Rosander, Michael; Nielsen, Morten Birkeland
Applied Psychology
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