Asymmetric intergroup bullying: The enactment and maintenance of societal inequality at work

Article English OPEN
Soylu, Soydan ; Sheehy-Skeffington, Jennifer (2015)
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Journal: Human Relations; Studies towards the Integration of the Social Sciences, volume 68, issue 7, pages 1,099-1,129 (issn: 0018-7267, eissn: 1741-282X)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1177/0018726714552001, pmc: PMC4702246
  • Subject: inequality | intergroup relations | management | qualitative | social dominance theory | Turkey | Articles | workplace | bullying

What does inequality mean for dysfunctional organizational behaviours, such as workplace bullying? This article argues that workplace bullying can be understood as a manifestation of intergroup dynamics originating beyond the organization. We introduce the construct of asymmetric intergroup bullying: the disproportionate mistreatment of members of low status groups, with the intended effect of enhancing the subordination of that group in society at large. Analysis of data from 38 interviews with public and private sector workers in Turkey depicts a pattern of asymmetric intergroup bullying, undertaken to achieve organizational and broader sociopolitical goals. Respondents reported bullying acts used to get rid of unwanted personnel, with the goal of avoiding severance pay, or of removing supporters of the former government from positions of political and economic influence. Bullying was also described as working towards the dominance of the sociocultural worldview of one political group over another. We discuss asymmetric intergroup bullying as one mechanism through which acute intergroup hierarchy in the broader society corrupts management practice and employee interactions, in turn exacerbating economic inequality along group lines.
  • References (65)
    65 references, page 1 of 7

    Allport GW (1954) The Nature of Prejudice. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books.

    Arat Y (1998) Feminists, Islamists, and political change in Turkey. Political Psychology 19(1): 117–131.

    Attride-Stirling J (2001) Thematic networks: An analytic tool for qualitative research. Qualitative Research 1(3): 385–405.

    Aycan Z (2001) Human resource management in Turkey: Current issues and future challenges. International Journal of Manpower 22(3): 252–260.

    Barak ME Cherin DA Berkman S (1998) Organisational and personal dimensions in diversity climate: Ethnic and gender differences in employee perceptions. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 34(1): 82–104.

    Başkan F (2010) The rising Islamic business elite and democratisation in Turkey. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 12(4): 399–416.

    Blalock HM (1991) Understanding Social Inequality: Modelling Allocation Processes. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.

    Braun V Clarke V (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3(2): 77–101.

    Brown R Hewstone M (2005) An integrative theory of intergroup contact. In: Sanna MP (ed.) Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 37. San Diego, CA: Elsevier, 255–343.

    Buğra A (1994) State and Business in Modern Turkey: A Comparative Study. New York: SUNY Press.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark