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Antecedents of Workplace Bullying among Employees in Germany: Five-Year Lagged Effects of Job Demands and Job Resources

Objectives: The aim of the present study was to examine the long-term association of job demands and job resources with self-reported exposure to workplace bullying in a representative sample of employees in Germany.

Methods: We analysed a nation-wide representative cohort of employees working in the same workplace with a 5-year follow-up (S-MGA; N = 1637). The study contained self-reported measures of psychosocial working conditions, including work pace, amount of work, influence at work, role clarity and quality of leadership, and workplace bullying, and of organisational factors, including organisational restructuring and layoffs.

Results: After controlling for bullying and occupational level at baseline, higher baseline levels of organisational restructuring (OR 1.73; 95% CI 1.10–2.70), work pace (1.30; 95% CI 1.01–1.66), and amount of work (1.55; 95% CI 1.21–1.99), and lower baseline levels of influence at work (0.70; 95% CI 0.55–0.90) and quality of leadership (0.64; 95% CI 0.50–0.82), were associated with an elevated risk of workplace bullying at follow-up. In all, 90% of cases of self-reported workplace bullying could be attributed to these factors.

Conclusions: The study suggests that employees reporting higher demands and lower resources, as well as organisational factors such as restructuring, are at a higher long-term risk of being targets of workplace bullying. Interventions aimed at preventing workplace bullying could benefit from a focus on psychosocial working conditions and organisational factors.

The complete article is published in the Journal "International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health" (2021).

Bibliographic information

P. M. Conway, H. Burr, U. Rose, T. Clausen, C. Balducci:
Antecedents of Workplace Bullying among Employees in Germany: Five-Year Lagged Effects of Job Demands and Job Resources. 
in: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18, Issue 20 2021. pages 1-13, Project number: F 2460, PDF file, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18168328

download file "Antecedents of Workplace Bullying among Employees in Germany: Five-Year Lagged Effects of Job Demands and Job Resources" (PDF, 655 KB, Not barrier-free file)

Research Project

Project numberF 2460 StatusOngoing Project Project bundle: Longitudinal study of mental health at work (S-MGA II) - Project component 2: Longitudinal associations between working and employment conditions, burnout and depressive symptoms

Find out more : Project bundle: Longitudinal study of mental health at work (S-MGA II) - Project component 2: Longitudinal associations between working and employment conditions, burnout and depressive symptoms …

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