Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The impact of role stressors on workplace bullying in both victims and perpetrators, controlling for personal vulnerability factors: A longitudinal analysis

an article by Cristian Balducci (University of Bologna, Italy), Monica Cecchin (ULSS Asolo, Asolo, Italy) and Franco Fraccaroli (University of Trento, Italy) published in Work & Stress Volume 26 Issue 3 (July 2012)


Although it has been suggested that a poor work environment can be related to the incidence of bullying, little work with robust research designs has been conducted on the matter.

By drawing on the concept of hindrance stressors and using a longitudinal research design, we investigated whether role conflict and role ambiguity predicted being a victim of bullying twelve months later, over and above personal vulnerability factors.

With a parallel analysis we also investigated whether the same role stressors predicted the enactment of bullying. The sample consisted of 234 employees of a National Health Service agency in Italy, including medical, nursing and administrative staff.

The results indicated that role conflict positively affected both being bullied and bullying enactment, with personal vulnerability (reporting a doctor’s diagnosis of depression at baseline) affecting only the first of the two outcomes. However, some evidence also emerged of reciprocal relationships between role stressors and bullying.

Directions for future research on the relations between working conditions and bullying are discussed.

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