The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to reveal the relationship between perceived bullying and the features of a favourable working environment; and second, to indicate bullying factors that especially worsen the working environment and working environment factors that contribute to the bullying experiences.Design/methodology/approachIn Spring 2014, 864 staff members—including teachers, researchers, administrators, project workers and service staff—from nine Estonian universities answered an e-mail questionnaire.FindingsIt was revealed that “professional understating”, “unreasonable work-related demands” and “work-related malpractice” are forms of bullying that negatively affect the working atmosphere. “Appreciation”, “vertical trust”, “predictability” and “quality of leadership” are working environment factors that contribute to the experiences of bullying. Experiences of “professional understating” seem to reduce feelings related to all features of a favourable working atmosphere. A lack of “appreciation” appears to be a key environment feature that also plays a role in workplace bullying.Research limitations/implicationsIn Estonian universities, first, “professional understating” negatively affects the feelings of “appreciation”; in contrast, a lack of “appreciation” contributes to feelings of “professional understating”. Second, “unreasonable work-related demands” is a sign of a shortage of “vertical trust” and the opposite of “trust” between management and employees, which obviously decreases perceived “workload”. The present results can be applied in at least three contexts: cultural and institutional studies, leadership practices and personal work control.Originality/valueThe detailed examination showed that it is possible to reveal certain bullying factors that specifically affect certain environment factors and find out particular working environment features that contribute specifically to certain kinds of bullying.
International Journal of Workplace Health Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 26, 2018
Keywords: Bullying; Job satisfaction; University; Inappropriate behaviour; Working environment
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