Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cyberbullying in the workplace 'worse than conventional bullying'

Date:
November 2, 2012
Source:
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Summary:
Cyberbullying -- using modern communications technology such as e-mails, texts or web-postings to abuse people -- is as common in the workplace as 'conventional' bullying. Yet, the way cyberbullying influences both the victim and witnesses are more hidden in the workplace according to new research by occupational psychologists.

Cyberbullying -- using modern communications technology such as e-mails, texts or web-postings to abuse people -- is as common in the workplace as 'conventional' bullying. Yet, the way cyberbullying influences both the victim and witnesses are more hidden in the workplace according to new research by occupational psychologists.

The results of a study by Dr Christine Sprigg, Dr Carolyn Axtell and Sam Farley of the University of Sheffield, together with Dr Iain Coyne of Nottingham University, will be revealed at a seminar during the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) annual Festival of Social Science in November. They shine a light on this relatively new phenomenon.

Until now the impact of cyberbullying has mainly focused on younger people in environments such as schools rather than adult workers. The researchers will reveal suggestions on how employers should tackle and prevent cyberbullying in the workplace. This will become more important as communication technologies continue to evolve and become more widespread.

The study included three separate surveys among employees in several UK universities, asking people about their experiences of cyberbullying. "We gave people a list of what can be classed as bullying, such as being humiliated, ignored or gossiped about, and asked them if they had faced such behaviour online and how often," said Dr Coyne.

Of the 320 people who responded to the survey, around eight out of ten had experienced one of the listed cyberbullying behaviours on at least one occasion in the previous six months. The results also showed 14 to 20 per cent experienced them on at least a weekly basis -- a similar rate to conventional bullying.

The research team also examined the impact of cyberbullying on workers' mental strain and wellbeing. "Overall, those that had experienced cyberbullying tended to have higher mental strain and lower job satisfaction," Dr Coyne said. "In one of our surveys, this effect was shown to be worse for cyberbullying than for conventional bullying."

The research team also found that the impact of witnessing cyberbullying was different than that seen for conventional bullying. "In the research literature, people who witness conventional bullying also show evidence of reduced wellbeing. However, in our research this does not appear to be the case for the online environment," Dr Coyne said.

"Witnesses are much less affected. This might be because of the remote nature of cyberspace -- perhaps people empathise less with the victims. This could affect the witness's reaction to the bullying and potentially whether to report it or otherwise intervene."

The results of the research, which was partly funded by Sheffield University Management School, will be presented at a seminar to business representatives. "We believe our research will likely have implications for the way that employers formulate policies and guidelines relating to cyberbullying, and the seminar will be an opportunity for us to discuss our findings and learn about the experiences of other employers," Dr Coyne said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "Cyberbullying in the workplace 'worse than conventional bullying'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102084650.htm>.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). (2012, November 2). Cyberbullying in the workplace 'worse than conventional bullying'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102084650.htm
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "Cyberbullying in the workplace 'worse than conventional bullying'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121102084650.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins