Workplace Bullying and Cyberbullying Scales: An Overview

  • Jordi Escartín
  • Ivana Vranjes
  • Elfi Baillien
  • Guy Notelaers
Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbooks of Workplace Bullying, Emotional Abuse and Harassment book series (HWBEAH, volume 1)


This chapter presents an overview of workplace bullying and cyberbullying scales currently used in quantitative research and highlights their characteristics, main strengths and weaknesses. Using well-defined inclusion (i.e. reported in the international scientific literature, validated or based on validated scales, and availability of items) and exclusion criteria (i.e. reported in unpublished manuscripts, reviews, guidelines, commentaries, abstracts and conference proceedings), a total of 47 validated scales on workplace bullying and cyberbullying were examined. These scales were developed to tap workplace (cyber)bullying (a) from the target’s perspective, (b) from the actor’s perspective, (c) within specific professional and occupational contexts and (d) within different geographical and cultural contexts (i.e. adaptations of the most widely used workplace bullying scale—the Negative Acts Questionnaire, NAQ). A first important conclusion from our review is that research has used great heterogeneity in quantitative scales measuring the problem which, although could be valuable in specific contexts, challenges the comparability of the results. Alternatively, we see some dominantly applied scales of which we question ourselves whether these scales are in fact always suitable for assessing (cyber)bullying in a certain context without a thorough validation. A second conclusion is that several scales were developed based on different perspectives on item construction and validity. Therefore, we outline a number of ways to further improve and standardize the methodology applied in designing scales to assess workplace (cyber)bullying (i.e. the need to capture both the state and the process of the phenomenon, scales on bystanders). Finally, this chapter concludes with a call for more tightly controlled and methodologically sophisticated studies, paying greater attention to being sensitive and careful in the inference of causality.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jordi Escartín
    • 1
  • Ivana Vranjes
    • 2
  • Elfi Baillien
    • 3
  • Guy Notelaers
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Social Psychology and Quantitative PsychologyUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Occupational & Organizational Psychology and Professional LearningKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Work and Organization StudiesKU LeuvenBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Psychosocial ScienceUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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