Effects of workplace bullying on work engagement and health: the mediating role of job insecurity

Joon Hyung Park, Masakatsu Ono

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the effects of exposure to workplace bullying on work engagement and health problems. It is one of the few studies to treat job insecurity as an explanatory factor of the bullying–outcome relationship. Specifically, we perceive that job insecurity unfolds through an interpersonal process in which negative experiences, such as bullying, make employees feel less valuable in their workplace. By analyzing the data from employees in Korea using the latent factor approach, the tested mediation model explained that exposure to workplace bullying decreased the work engagement of employees and increased their health problems because of their high level of perceived job insecurity. The relationship between bullying and engagement would not be established without the job insecurity variable, thereby suggesting its indirect effect. Given the partial mediating effect of health problems, job insecurity is identified as an additional underlying mechanism that explains why bullying increases health problems. This finding does not contradict the widespread arguments on the health-impairing effect of workplace bullying. This study contributes to the literature and business practices by identifying an important underlying mechanism that helps us understand the association between exposure to workplace bullying and key work outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3202-3225
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Volume28
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Health
  • job insecurity
  • work engagement
  • workplace bullying

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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