Exploring the fluid boundary between ‘legitimate performance management’ and ‘downward bullying’: An experimental approach

Andrew R. Timming, Michael T. French, David Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Using an experimental design, this research examines the extent to which managers and employees perceive management behaviors differently. Eight simulated employment scenarios were presented to an aggregated sample of managers and non-managerial employees (n=435) and the respondents were asked to evaluate the extent to which the behaviors depicted are seen as bullying. It was found that employees are more likely than managers to perceive “legitimate performance management” as bullying, but also that managers are more likely than employees to perceive more overt bullying as bullying per se. This divergence in perceptions suggests that what constitutes bullying, ontologically speaking, depends on one’s point of view and implies that reality is socially constructed. The research has important implications for organizations and trade unions in the development of bullying policies and procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-361
Number of pages25
JournalIndustrial Relations Journal
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 2019

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