Vit. artikkel


  • 2023

Substantial evidence points to detrimental effects of workplace bullying on the health, well-being and job attitudes among those exposed. What is less known is how bullying affects their non-exposed colleagues. In this study, we introduce the concept “blast radius of bullying” and use social information processing theory to investigate how bullying impacts targets, witnesses, and non-witnesses. We suggest three mechanisms to understand the impact bullying may have on non-targets: the working environment mechanism, secondary victimization, and emotional contagion. We hypothesized that non-exposed colleagues in groups where bullying exists would feel some impact of bullying, but that it would be smaller for those further away from the point of impact. We also investigated the association between the severity of mistreatment and outcomes for the above-mentioned categories. We used data (n = 2215) from 195 work groups. The results provided evidence for a blast radius of bullying, however, not as far-reaching as hypothesized as only direct observation of mistreatment was associated with negative outcomes. The severity of mistreatment was not associated with the outcomes, whereas the frequency of observation had some impact for witnesses. The study showed that also witnesses may be regarded as “co-victims”.

Rosander, Michael; Nielsen, Morten Birkeland
Current Psychology
Les publikasjon