June 20, 2006

Workplace bullying among business professional - Thesis by Denise Salin, Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration


In the section on organisational culture it was stressed that a very 'tough' and autocratic culture could be conducive to bullying. Similarly, a very autocratic style of leadership has been shown to be correlated with higher reports of bullying (Hoel & Cooper, 2000; O'Moore, Seigne, McGuire & Smith, 1998; Vartia, 1996). Ashforth (1994) has discussed potential destructive sides of leadership identified what he refers to as 'petty tyrants', i.e. leaders who exercise a tyrannical style of management, resulting in a climate of fear at the workplace. Such abusive leadership styles would be closely related to vertical bullying, i.e. superiors bullying their subordinates.

However, certain leadership styles may also be conducive of bullying among colleagues on the same hierarchical level. Several researchers have shown that a laissez-faire style of leadership is associated with higher levels of bullying (Einarsen et al., 1994a; Hoel & Cooper, 2000). Thus, the reluctance of superiors to recognise and intervene in bullying episodes may convey the impression that bullying is acceptable. Similarly, Einarsen et al. (1994a) reported a relationship between higher levels of bullying and disatisfaction with the amount of and quality of guidance, instructions and feedback given. Thus, bullying and leadership style seem to follow a curvilinear relationship, so that bullying is particularly frequent in cases of either very 'weak' or very 'tough' management styles

From: Thesis by Denise Salin, Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, 2003

No comments: