The impact of workplace bullying on individual and organisational well-being in a South African context and the role of coping as a moderator in the bullying-well-being relationship.
The aim of the present study was to determine the impact of workplace bullying on individual and organisational outcomes. Additionally the study attempted to determine the moderating effects of four coping strategies due to the effects of workplace bullying on the individual, namely, seeking help, avoidance, assertiveness and doing nothing. The Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised was used to assess the perceptions of workplace bullying within a construction company. A coping scale measuring the four coping strategies proposed, and which relates to the subject of workplace bullying, was modified and validated on a South African sample. The analyses used for the study was that of moderated multiple regression. The purpose was to determine the main effects of workplace bullying on the dependent variables, namely, psychological well-being, self esteem, job satisfaction and intention to leave. Secondly, it was used to assess the moderating effects of the four coping strategies on the dependent variables due to the impact of workplace bullying. The results reported main effects for workplace bullying on the dependent variables, however inverse relationships were reported for workplace bullying on job satisfaction and intention to leave. Secondly, an interaction effect for all four of the coping strategies on psychological well-being was reported, although inverse relationships were found for the coping strategies of avoidance and doing nothing on psychological well-being. Furthermore, an interaction effect for the coping strategy of avoidance was reported for self esteem. Direct effects were reported between the coping strategy of seeking help and psychological wellbeing, as well as between the coping strategy of avoidance and job satisfaction, albeit the latter was inverse in nature. Confounding variables were also assessed in order to account for any spuriousness within the data. The covariate of race demonstrated a significant, yet inverse effect on intention to leave. No moderating effects for job satisfaction and intention to leave were reported. A discussion of these findings, the limitations of the research and theoretical implications of the present study are noted. In addition, advances made by the present research towards a greater understanding of workplace bullying and coping within South Africa are acknowledged. Furthermore, recommendations for future research on workplace bullying and coping are elaborated on.