A selection of interesting articles we came across recently on bullying in the workplace.

Is bullying tolerated in some cultures? Evidence from among Italian workers.
Since the early 1990s, increasing attention has been paid to the impact of workplace bullying on employees’ well-being and job attitudes. However, the relationship between workplace bullying and job satisfaction remains unclear. This study aims to shed light on the nature of the bullying-job satisfaction relationship in the Italian context (n = 1,393 employees from different organizations). As expected, the results revealed a U-shape curvilinear relationship between workplace bullying and job satisfaction after controlling for demographic variables.

In contrast to the curvilinear model, the results support a negative linear relationship between workplace bullying and psychological well-being, in which higher exposure to negative acts at work is associated with diminished well-being. In addition, gender and job position significantly predicted mental health scores where men and managers reported a better psychological well-being than women, blue-collar and white-collar employees. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed according to these results.

The full paper is at: Gabriele Giorgi, Jose M. Leon-Perez & Alicia Arenas. 2015. Are Bullying Behaviors Tolerated in Some Cultures? Evidence for a Curvilinear Relationship Between Workplace Bullying and Job Satisfaction Among Italian Workers.
Journal of Business Ethics, 131(1), 227-237.


Subordinates’ perceptions of and reactions to abusive supervision
Research on abusive supervision is imbalanced in two ways. First, with most research attention focused on the destructive consequences of abusive supervision, there has been relatively little work on subordinate-related predictors of perceptions of abusive supervision. Second, with most research on abusive supervision centered on its main effects and the moderating effects of supervisor-related factors, there is little understanding of how subordinate factors can moderate the main effects of perceptions of abusive supervision on workplace outcomes.

The current study aims to advance knowledge of the roles of subordinates in the formation of and reactions to perceptions of abusive supervision. Specifically, based on victim precipitation theory, the authors examined subordinates’ personality traits and self-reports of task performance as antecedents of perceptions of abusive supervision. The results show that subordinates high in neuroticism or low in conscientiousness had high levels of perceived abusive supervision partially through their self-reported deleterious job performance. In addition, the authors investigated the moderating effect of subordinates’ personality on the relationship between perceptions of abusive supervision and subordinates’ interpersonal deviance.

Consistent with trait activation theory, subordinates low in both agreeableness and extraversion were more likely to engage in deviant behaviours in response to perceptions of abusive supervision than subordinates high in either or both agreeableness and extraversion.

More details are in the paper: Gang Wang, Peter D. Harms & Jeremy D. Mackey. 2015. Does it take two to Tangle? Subordinates’ Perceptions of and Reactions to Abusive Supervision.
Journal of Business Ethics, 131(2), 487-503.


Getting respect from a boss you respect
Interpersonal respect can be differentiated into two kinds: (1) horizontal respect, i.e. treating someone with dignity; and (2) vertical respect, i.e. genuinely honouring someone’s merits. With the present research, the authors draw on motivation theory to explore their interplay in leadership relations. Specifically, they argue for a moderated mediation hypothesis in that
(a) leaders’ horizontal respect for their subordinates fundamentally speaks to subordinates’ self-determination and
(b) that the message of respectful leadership is enhanced by the vertical respect that subordinates have for their leaders.

As a result, subordinates are more satisfied with their jobs, which should also show in a decreased willingness to leave. The proposed model was supported in two survey studies (N = 391 and N = 518) and an experimental scenario study (N = 107)—thus suggesting that perceived leader behaviour needs to be complemented by leader standing.

For further details see: Catharina Decker & Niels Van Quaquebeke. 2015. Getting Respect from a Boss You Respect: How Different Types of Respect Interact to Explain Subordinates’ Job Satisfaction as Mediated by Self-Determination.
Journal of Business Ethics, 131(3), 543-556.


Impact of abusive supervision and toxic emotions in nurses
This study explores whether abusive supervision can effectively predict employees’ counterproductive work behaviour (CWB) and organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB) and the role of toxic emotions at work as a potential mediator of these relationships in nursing settings. Despite the growing literature on abusive supervision and employees’ counterproductive work behaviour and organisational citizenship behaviour, few studies have examined the relationships between abusive supervision and these work behaviours from the viewpoint of the victimed employee’s emotion process.

This study adopted a two-stage survey of 212 nurses, all of whom were employed by hospitals in Taiwan. Hypotheses were tested through the use of hierarchical multiple regression. The results showed that abusive supervision was positively associated with toxic emotions. Moreover, toxic emotions could effectively predict nurses’ counterproductive work behaviour and organisational citizenship behaviour. Finally, it was found that toxic emotions partially mediated the negative effects of abusive supervision on both work behaviours.

The author concluded that toxic emotions at work are a critical mediating variable between abusive supervision and both counterproductive work behaviour and organisational citizenship behaviour. Hospital administrators can implement policies designed to manage events effectively that can spark toxic emotions in their employees. Implications for nursing management Work empowerment may be an effective way to reduce counterproductive work behaviour and to enhance organisational citizenship behaviour among nurses when supervisors do not promote a healthy work environment for them.

Read further at: Chu, Li-Chuan. 2014. Mediating toxic emotions in the workplace – the impact of abusive supervision.
Journal of Nursing Management, 22(8), 953-963.