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Workplace Bullying: How Do Bystanders' Emotions and the Type of Bullying Influence Their Willingness to Help?

Abstract : The present study asks, how do various bullying acts, re-victimization, and the victim's own behaviors influence witnesses' judgments of the bullying and their inclination to help the victim? Using vignettes, we examined participants' reactions to stories. The independent variables were type of bullying act, victim's pro- or anti-social behaviors at work, and re-victimization. The dependent variables were equity judgments, positive and negative emotions toward the victim and the perpetrator, and the giving of help. Eight vignettes of bullying at work were submitted to 145 participants. The results showed that the situation was judged less equitable by witnesses, and their willingness to give support to the target was increased (1) when the perpetrator's acts were serious and, (2) when the bullied victim's behavior was pro-social, not anti-social. Female employees found the situation more unfair and declared more intentions to help than their male colleagues. The intention to help increased when the victim had shown pro-social behaviors and when the victim had been bullied previously. Emotions toward the victim were mainly positive, and emotions toward the perpetrator mainly negative except in the case where the harassed victim had shown anti-social behavior. The more serious the bullying acts, the more the witness felt sympathy and empathic emotions such as fear and sadness toward the victim, while feeling anger and disgust toward the perpetrator.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 16, 2021 - 11:38:00 AM
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Pascale Desrumaux, Christine Jeoffrion, Naouelle Bouterfas, Sabine De Bosscher, Méthode C. Boudenghan. Workplace Bullying: How Do Bystanders' Emotions and the Type of Bullying Influence Their Willingness to Help?. Nordic Psychology, Taylor and Francis, 2018, 70 (4), pp.259-277. ⟨10.1080/19012276.2018.1430610⟩. ⟨hal-03288262⟩



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