Human Resource Professionals’ Responses to Workplace Bullying

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Abstract

Workplace bullying manifests in significant costs to individuals and organisations. The obligation to resolve such cases largely falls on Human Resource Professionals (HRPs). Little is known, however, about the antecedents to HRPs’ helping behaviour in these scenarios. Using the attribution–emotion model of stigmatisation, this study explored how HRPs are influenced in their response to workplace bullying. Australian HRPs (n = 84) were assigned to one of four experimental vignette scenarios, differing in target (approach/avoidance coping) and perpetrator (effort vs. non-effortful response) behaviour. The results revealed that targets who fail to act to resolve situations of bullying were regarded as more responsible and less likely to receive help, but HRPs were more sympathetic and inclined to help non-responsive perpetrators when the targets also avoided the situation. The findings indicate two key areas for training and development that could improve HRPs evaluations and management of workplace bullying.

Original languageEnglish
Article number190
Number of pages16
JournalSocieties
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • bystander
  • human resources
  • intervention
  • workplace bullying

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