PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to understand the impact of workplace bullying on the marital relationship of three Brazilian couples.Design/methodology/approachThe paper uses a qualitative approach with multiple cases. Data were collected through individual semi-structured interviews with the victims, followed by interviews with each couple. Then, the information obtained was categorised and analysed according to the content analysis approach.FindingsThe findings indicate that the experience of workplace bullying by one of the spouses influenced their marital relationship, since there were periods of estrangement, conflicts, and changes in sexual behaviour, and subsequent reconciliation. At the same time, the marital relationship played a protective role against workplace bullying.Research limitations/implicationsThis is an exploratory study which aims to understand the repercussions of workplace bullying on marital relationships, rather than draw conclusions about all bullied workers and their marital relationships. The identification and analysis of these repercussions may contribute to deepen the understanding of the importance of the victim’s significant other when facing bullying.Practical implicationsThis research expands the perception of the consequences and influences of workplace bullying, which are not restricted to the victim. Furthermore, the detailed information demonstrates the importance of including multiple participants in the research, and additional tools to collect data.Originality/valueBy providing a deeper understanding of the impact of workplace bullying on the victims and their families, in particular on the marital relationship of these workers, the study shows that workplace bullying does not affect only those who are directly linked to the organisation.
Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 12, 2018
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