Negative Interpersonal Behavior at Work: An Evidence Based Classification of Workplace Bullying

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Dick, Gavin P.M. ; Rayner, Charlotte (2013)

Negative interpersonal behavior at work has been explored under a wide range of headings (e.g. ‘bullying’, ‘counter-productive’, ‘antisocial’ or ‘deviant’). This paper analyses two data sets from the UK and tests models from the literature by using confirmatory factor analysis through structural equation modeling to see if there is a common pattern of negative behavior types. Four behavior factors provided the best fit to the data: personal, task, and verbal attack, and isolation. The dominant stereotype of bullying as verbal abuse was not found, nor the patterns commonly postulated in the literature. Structural equation modeling was extended to test the emotional reaction reported by participants against the negative behavior types. Post-hoc analysis of interpersonal workplace conflict research exposes the need for clarity regarding constructs under investigation in workplace negative behavior.
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