Exposure to Workplace Bullying: The Role of Coping Strategies in Dealing with Work Stressors

Whitney Van Den Brande*, Elfi Baillien, Tinne Vander Elst, Hans De Witte, Anja Van Den Broeck, Lode Godderis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies investigating both work- and individual-related antecedents of workplace bullying are scarce. In reply, this study investigated the interaction between workload, job insecurity, role conflict, and role ambiguity (i.e., work-related antecedents), and problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies (i.e., individual-related antecedents) in association with exposure to workplace bullying. Problem-focused coping strategies were hypothesised to decrease (i.e., buffer) the associations between workload, job insecurity, role conflict, and role ambiguity and exposure to bullying, while emotion-focused coping strategies were hypothesised to increase (i.e., amplify) these associations. Results for a heterogeneous sample (N = 3,105) did not provide evidence for problem-focused coping strategies as moderators. As expected, some emotion-focused coping strategies amplified the associations between work-related antecedents and bullying: employees using "focus on and venting of emotions" or "behavioural disengagement" in dealing with job insecurity, role conflict, or role ambiguity were more likely to be exposed to bullying. Similarly, "seeking social support for emotional reasons" and "mental disengagement" amplified the associations of role ambiguity and the associations of both role conflict and role ambiguity, respectively. To prevent bullying, organisations may train employees in tempering emotion-focused coping strategies, especially when experiencing job insecurity, role conflict, or role ambiguity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1019529
JournalBioMed Research International
Volume2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Exposure to Workplace Bullying: The Role of Coping Strategies in Dealing with Work Stressors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this