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Consequences of Workplace Bullying for Individuals, Organizations and Society

Part of the Handbooks of Workplace Bullying, Emotional Abuse and Harassment book series (HWBEAH,volume 2)

Abstract

The past three to four decades have provided solid evidence that workplace bullying can be a severe stressor that may affect the mental and physiological health as well as the well-being of the targets. Other consequences of workplace bullying remain, however, widely unexplored. The goal of the present chapter is to provide a state-of-the-art overview of the existing international evidence about the different effects of workplace bullying that, reaching beyond reduced individual well-being and poor mental and physiological health, focus on the further consequences for individuals, organizations and society. To this end, the chapter begins by introducing the key theoretical approaches within this field of research, including Leymann’s model of the development of workplace bullying, the transactional theory of stress, the cognitive activation theory of stress (CATS), the stress-as-offence-to-self (SOS) perspective, the structural empowerment theory and the self-determination theory (SDT). After this introduction, the chapter summarizes the existing research investigating the impact of workplace bullying on a diverse array of individual, organizational and societal problems, including sickness absence, job turnover, unemployment and drop-out from a trade, early retirement and disability retirement, quality of care and patient safety in the healthcare sector as well as suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour. The concluding remarks outline the main gaps in the current knowledge and discuss future research directions that are needed to enrich our understanding of the individual, organizational and societal consequences of workplace bullying. Finally, the limitations of the present chapter are highlighted.

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Høgh, A., Clausen, T., Bickmann, L., Hansen, Å.M., Conway, P.M., Baernholdt, M. (2021). Consequences of Workplace Bullying for Individuals, Organizations and Society. In: , et al. Pathways of Job-related Negative Behaviour. Handbooks of Workplace Bullying, Emotional Abuse and Harassment, vol 2. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0935-9_8

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