Improved working conditions reduce instances of workplace bullying

Workplace bullying is a pervasive and common issue that affects many organisations and employees. While there have been a range of management strategies and tools to support workplaces, new research has found addressing psychosocial conditions are most likely the key to reducing the problem.

A recent European study of German workers has found that factors such as high workload, insufficient resources and organisation factors like restructuring can leave some employees at a higher risk of being targets of workplace bullying.

The study looked at a representative group of employees in Germany, following them over a period of five years, and recording self-reported instances of bullying in relation to their job demands and resources. The study asked participants to report on:

  • Instances of being bullied in the workplace
  • Work pace and quantity
  • How much influence they had in the workplace and the quality of their leadership
  • Organisation factors like restructuring and layoffs.

The study concluded that 90 per cent of self-reported bullying instances could be attributed to the above factors, and that interventions to reduce bullying should focus on addressing these psychosocial concerns and conditions.
Read more: Conway, P, et al, Antecedents of Workplace Bullying among Employees in Germany: Five-Year Lagged Effects of Job Demands and Job Resources. [Abstract, and Full article] IJEP, Volume 18  Issue 20  10.3390/ijerph182010805.

Read more on: Bullying; Stress; and Psychosocial hazards on our site.

Comcare Emerging Evidence Alert

This regular publication from Comcare reports on a number of research studies (including the item above) and subscribers may be interested in checking it out. Items include: Return to work; Presenteeism and Absenteeism; Working hours; and more.
Download the pdf version here.

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