Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 128, Issue 1, pp 83–93 | Cite as

Relationships Between Machiavellianism, Organizational Culture, and Workplace Bullying: Emotional Abuse from the Target’s and the Perpetrator’s Perspective

  • Irena Pilch
  • Elżbieta Turska


Exposure to bullying at work is a serious social stressor, having important consequences for the victim, the co-workers, and the whole organization. Bullying can be understood as a multi-causal phenomenon: the result of individual differences between workers, deficiencies in the work environment or an interaction between individual and situational factors. The results of the previous studies confirmed that some characteristics within an individual may predispose to bullying others and/or being bullied. In the present study, we intend to clarify the relationships between workplace bullying considered from the victim’s and the perpetrator’s points of view, the employee Machiavellianism as a personality factor and the perceptions of organizational culture as depicted by Cameron and Quinn. The sample consisted of 117 workers, employed in different organizations in Poland. The empirical data regarding both being exposed to bullying as well as being a perpetrator of bullying were obtained by the use of self-reports from participants. According to the expectations, Machiavellianism predicted involvement in bullying others. The groups of bullies and bully-victims had a higher Machiavellianism level compared to the groups of victims and persons non-involved in bullying. The results showed that being bullied was negatively related to the perceptions of clan and adhocracy cultures and positively related to the perceptions of hierarchy culture. The results of a moderated regression analysis demonstrated that Machiavellianism was a significant moderator of the relationships between the perceptions of adhocracy and hierarchy cultures and being bullied. Theoretical and practical implications of the results were discussed.


Bullying Mobbing Machiavellianism Organizational culture Personality Workplace 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, Institute of PsychologyUniversity of SilesiaKatowicePoland

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