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Exposure to workplace bullying and group dynamics: A social network analysis

Exposure to workplace bullying and group dynamics: A social network analysis

Pauksztat, Birgit and Salin, Denise (2017) Exposure to workplace bullying and group dynamics: A social network analysis. In: 18th Congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology, 17-20 May 2017, Dublin, Ireland. (Unpublished)

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16303 PAUKSZTAT_Exposure_to_Workplace_Bullying_2017.pdf - Accepted Version

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The aim of this study was to analyze how employees’ position in the social network affects their exposure to bullying behaviours at work and how this exposure in turn affects group dynamics.

Longitudinal data on exposure to bullying behaviours (NAQ – short version) and network data on relationship quality (friendship relations; difficult relations) were collected in eight Finnish organizations. Hypotheses were tested based on two waves of data (n = 249) using stochastic actor-oriented modeling for the coevolution of networks and attributes, as implemented in RSiena.

Contrary to expectations, the number of friends and the number of difficult relations (T1) had no effect on exposure to bullying behaviour (T2). However, respondents with higher exposure to bullying behaviours at T1 reported both more friendships and more difficult relations at T2, suggesting that on the group level bullying behaviour might lead to group polarization. Also, employees’ exposure to bullying behaviours was affected by the bullying behaviours experienced by their friends, pointing to contagion or social influence effects.

RSiena does not allow taking into account the multilevel nature of the data.

Research/Practical Implications
The findings highlight the importance of taking into account group dynamics for understanding exposure to workplace bullying and its consequences.

The study introduces a new methodological approach to workplace bullying research, making it possible to take into account dynamics of social networks and the interdependencies between the actors and their responses to workplace bullying.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bullying; Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ); Friendship; Negative ties; Social network analysis
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Leadership & Organisational Behaviour Research Group (LOB)
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Last Modified: 17 May 2017 00:38

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