You say Tomatoe and I say Tomato: Can we differentiate between Workplace Bullying and other Counterproductive behaviours?
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Despite the recent increase in focus on workplace bullying by both researchers and practitioners, there is still considerable confusion as to how workplace bullying is similar or different to other counter-productive behaviours in the workplace. However, in order for researchers and practitioners to be able to research, prevent and address workplace bullying, it needs to be identified clearly and differentiated from other counterproductive behaviours. Within this paper we explore the similarities and differences between the concept of workplace bullying and alternative terms like incivility and harassment. We argue it is the persistency of the inappropriate behaviours is the primary difference between workplace bullying and other counter-productive behaviours. This paper contributes to the discussion of 'Can we differentiate workplace bullying?' by adapting Andersson and Pearson's (1999) model of antisocial behaviours. Findings from an interview study are also used to further clarify these definitional questions. We propose that this model could form part of a comprehensive antisocial behaviour policy, which outlines and explains the similarities and differences between workplace bullying, harassment, workplace violence and aggression as well as incivility. With the intended outcome to clarify the dimensions of workplace bullying as a phenomenon and thereby assisting employees and Management to identify negative behaviours early so that they can take appropriate action and stop the negative spiral and impact of such behaviours.
International Journal of Organisational Behaviour
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