Workplace the effect of abdicating leadership on harassment

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Last updated: February 20, 2019

Workplace harassment is defined as theoffensive behavior that a reasonable person would consider unwelcome.

Harassment refers to prolonged exposure to frequent hostile behaviors at work,such as excessive criticism of one’s work, withholding of information whichaffects performance, spreading of rumors, social isolation, etc. (Einarsen,Hoel, Zapf, & Cooper, 2010).It is a serious occupational hazard thatdirectly threatens workers’ physical and psychological safety, and it makesworkers vulnerable to other work hazards. Harm workers physical health andpsychological health (Chan.

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2008). There is strong empirical evidence linkingharassment to psychological stress responses that can lead to a multitude ofchronic negative health conditions (Okechukwu 2014), like de-motivation, poorperformance, absenteeism, job dissatisfaction, turnover, mental healthconditions and stress (Bowling Beehr 2006). Harassment at work has been claimedto be more crippling and devastating problem for employees than all otherwork-related stressors together (Wilson, and Thompson, 1991). The qualities ofhuman relationships at work are often seen as an important factor in people’sperception of stress and job satisfaction (Einarsen, Raknes, Matthiesen1994).Harassment is primarily caused by the work and social environmentproblems (Leymann 1992).

Different work environments are related to harassmentin different organizational settings (Einarsen, Raknes, Matthiesen 1994).  A wide range of work environment factors mayact as precursors to organizational stress and interpersonal conflict (Cooper,Payne 1978: Vliert 1984). Personality and work environmental factors wereindependently related to bullying (Balducci, Fraccaroli and Schaufeli 2011).

Workenvironment may include different aspects like management, role conflict,workload, physical environment, social interactions, work control, poorperforming supervisors. Many of these factors are also considered to be jobstressors which lead to job stress (French 1982, Firth 2004). Differentresearcher’s finding evaluates different work environmental factors. Laissezfaire leadership style, role conflict and role ambiguity were antecedents ofharassment with role stressors mediating the effect of abdicating leadership onharassment (Skogstad, Einarsen, Torsheim, Aasland and Hetland 2007).

Bowlingand Beehr (2006) reported that work constraints, role conflict and roleambiguity are the strongest potential antecedents of workplace harassment. As aresult of these interactions; anxiety, burnout, depression obsession orpsychosomatic disorders may occur (McCormack 2006, Jacobshagen 2004, Einarsen2000, Leymann and Gustafsson 1996).

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