Cooper-Thomas, H., Gardner, D., O’Driscoll, M., Catley, B., Bentley, T. & Trenberth, L. (2013). Neutralizing workplace bullying: the buffering effects of contextual factors. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 28(3), 384-407.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7791
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the direct and buffering effects of three workplace contextual factors – constructive leadership, perceived organizational support, and organizational anti-bullying initiatives – on bullying and its relationships with relevant criteria. Further, the paper aims to investigate the effectiveness of organizational initiatives against bullying as perceived by targets and non-targets. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from 727 employees in nine New Zealand healthcare organizations. Of these, 133 employees were classified as bullied, as they had experienced at least two negative acts per week over the last six months. Findings – Correlations revealed negative relationships between the three contextual work factors and bullying. Moderated regression showed that perceived organizational support buffered the relationship of bullying with self-rated job performance, and that organizational initiatives against bullying buffered the relationship of bullying with both wellbeing and organizational commitment. Targets consistently gave lower ratings than non-targets of the effectiveness of organizational initiatives to address bullying. Originality/value – There is scant research on workplace factors that may reduce bullying and buffer its negative effects. This paper makes an original contribution in providing evidence of the importance of three contextual factors, and of buffering effects for perceived organizational support and organizational initiatives against bullying.
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