Linking Workplace Bullying and Work Outcomes: Mediating Role of Psychological Contract Violation and Moderating Role of Psychosocial Safety Climate

  • Arpana Rai
  • Upasna A. Agarwal


The past two decades have witnessed considerable academic and public interest in workplace bullying given its increasing occurrence in workplaces and severe negative impacts on employees and organizations. A fairly good number of studies have examined the effects of workplace bullying on employee outcomes in the Western context. Awareness of bullying as a workplace issue has now spread beyond the Western world and attracted investigations across the globe. However, there is a conspicuous dearth of empirical studies examining the deleterious effects of workplace bullying in Indian organizations. The present study aims to examine the workplace bullying-outcome relationship in the Indian context. Building on social exchange theory (SET), the present study examines the relationship between workplace bullying and work outcomes (innovative work behaviour, IWB, and intention to quit, ITQ) via psychological contract violation (PCV) as a mediator. Drawing from Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) Model, the study also tests the moderating role of psychosocial safety climate (PSC) in the bullying-PCV relationship. Data were collected from 835 full-time Indian managerial employees working in different Indian organizations through self-report questionnaires. Results revealed that workplace bullying negatively correlated with IWB and positively correlated with ITQ. PCV was found mediating the bullying-outcome relationship. However, as opposed to our proposed hypothesis that PSC would weaken the positive relationship between bullying and PCV, results revealed the reverse buffer effect of PSC on the bullying-PCV relationship. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Workplace bullying Innovative work behaviour Intention to quit Psychological contract violation Psychosocial safety climate India 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arpana Rai
    • 1
  • Upasna A. Agarwal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Resource and Organizational BehaviourNational Institute of Industrial EngineeringMumbaiIndia

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