Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better to be bullied than ignored in the workplace, study finds

Date:
May 29, 2014
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Being ignored at work is worse for physical and mental well-being than harassment or bullying, says a new study. Researchers found that while most consider ostracism less harmful than bullying, feeling excluded is significantly more likely to lead to job dissatisfaction, quitting and health problems. "We've been taught that ignoring someone is socially preferable -- if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all," says a co-author. "But ostracism actually leads people to feel more helpless, like they're not worthy of any attention at all."

Being ignored at work is worse for physical and mental well-being than harassment or bullying, says a new study from the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business.

Related Articles


Researchers found that while most consider ostracism less harmful than bullying, feeling excluded is significantly more likely to lead to job dissatisfaction, quitting and health problems.

"We've been taught that ignoring someone is socially preferable -- if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all," says Sauder Professor Sandra Robinson, who co-authored the study. "But ostracism actually leads people to feel more helpless, like they're not worthy of any attention at all."

The researchers used a series of surveys for their study. First they determined that people consistently rate workplace ostracism as less socially inappropriate, less psychologically harmful and less likely to be prohibited than workplace harassment.

Additional surveys revealed that people who claimed to have experienced ostracism were significantly more likely to report a degraded sense of workplace belonging and commitment, a stronger intention to quit their job, and a larger proportion of health problems.

The researchers also took an employment survey by a Canadian university that included feedback on feelings of workplace isolation and harassment and compared it to turnover rates three years after the survey was conducted and found that people who reported feeling ostracized were significantly more likely to have quit.

"There is a tremendous effort underway to counter bullying in workplaces and schools, which is definitely important. But abuse is not always obvious," says Robinson. "There are many people who feel quietly victimized in their daily lives, and most of our current strategies for dealing with workplace injustice don't give them a voice."

Background

The study, Is negative attention better than no attention? The comparative effects of ostracism and harassment at work, is forthcoming in the journal Organization Science and was co-authored by Professor Jane O'Reilly, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa, Professor Jennifer Berdahl, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and Professor Sara Banki, Graduate School of Management and Economics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jane O'Reilly, Sandra L. Robinson, Jennifer L. Berdahl, Sara Banki. Is Negative Attention Better Than No Attention? The Comparative Effects of Ostracism and Harassment at Work. Organization Science, 2014; 140404113351000 DOI: 10.1287/orsc.2014.0900

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Better to be bullied than ignored in the workplace, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140529100715.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2014, May 29). Better to be bullied than ignored in the workplace, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140529100715.htm
University of British Columbia. "Better to be bullied than ignored in the workplace, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140529100715.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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