Stressful working environments are commonly assumed to create conditions that can lead to bullying. Although environmental factors may relate to both exposure to and perpetration of workplace bullying, empirical knowledge is still limited regarding how environmental factors and bullying is causally linked. In line with interpretations of previous cross-sectional findings, the present study investigated an individual-level target-oriented model of role stressors as antecedents of exposure to workplace bullying, applying a two-wave longitudinal sample of the Norwegian working population. Results from structural regression analyses failed to identify any significant relationships between the role stressors and subsequent exposure to workplace bullying. However, prior exposure to workplace bullying accounted for subsequent variation in role ambiguity, role conflict, and role overload alike. The findings of the present study question conclusions regarding causality made in previous cross-sectional research on work-related factors as antecedents of exposure to workplace bullying. We argue that future research may benefit from adopting multilevel and actor-oriented perspectives in order to more fully understand how causal relationships between environmental factors and workplace bullying unfold.

Hauge, Lars Johan; Skogstad, Anders; Einarsen, Ståle
European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 20(5): 610–630
Les publikasjon