Bullying in the workplace: a cross-cultural and methodological perspective

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Abstract

Whilst research on workplace bullying has substantially increased internationally, there appears to be a contention of whether individuals in hierarchical or individualistic societies are at higher risk of exposure to such behavior. This paper reports an investigation of relative exposure to workplace bullying between the two societies through a survey of Australians and Pakistanis. In so doing, this paper advances the cross-cultural workplace bullying literature in two main ways. First, by examining the methodological issue of equivalence, this paper shows that despite workplace bullying’s constant meaning across cultures, there are stark differences in employee exposure and tolerance toward it between the assessed cultures. Second, it provides evidence of relative risks of workplace bullying in cross-cultural contexts by revealing a higher risk of exposure to such behavior in a hierarchical rather than an individualistic society. The paper concludes with a detailed discussion of the theoretical and international management practice implications of the research findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-46
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Studies of Management & Organization
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural management
  • individualism
  • power distance
  • workplace bullying

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