Thursday, 23 July 2015

Does competency matter? Competency as a factor in workplace bullying

an article by Karen Rogers McDaniel (Arkansas State University, USA), Florence Ngala (Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, USA) and Karen Moustafa Leonard (University of Arkansas, Little Rock, USA) published in Journal of Managerial Psychology Volume Issue 5 (2015)


The purpose of this paper is to explore the intersection of competency and bullying behaviors, not yet reported in the literature.

The approach is an examination of the literature available on both topics, and development of a framework related to both.

The theory is that there is a strong mediating relationship between the victim’s self-perception of competency and outcomes (the victim’s reactions) to bullying behaviors. There are multiple impacts of bullying behaviors, but the authors believe this mediation action of competency might be crucial. There is little research on competency or expertise in terms of behaviors resulting from these self-assessments. Future research should seek to examine the link empirically, and there are implications about the competency levels of bullies themselves that might arise.

Research limitations/implications
As this is a newly developed research stream, the authors plan to continue with work on the topic.

Practical implications
By developing competency, individuals may develop some protection or coping mechanisms when confronted by bullying behaviors. Managers need to be aware of the need to allow employee development to reduce the incidence of such behaviors.

Social implications
Bullying behaviors have become rampant in society. In trying to determine where the problem might be best addressed, the authors feel that they have made a significant impact to allow managers to address competency among those victimized by these behaviors. This should have a flow-on effect for organizational and societal culture.

This is an intersection that has not been explored but holds significant explanatory power in the area. These bullying behaviors are on the rise; therefore, it is an exceptional opportunity to present new ideas in a forum that is well read by both academics and practitioners.

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