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Objective: The purpose of this study is twofold. First, we examine the prevalence rate of workplace bullying among employees in Japan. Second, we explore antecedents of bullying exposure at work in this population. Method: 699 employees recruited in 5 labor unions in the Tokyo area (Japan) voluntarily participated in this questionnaire-based study. We provided participants with a definition of bullying and asked them to indicate whether or not they have been bullied during the last six months according to this definition (self-labeling method). We also asked participants to complete items about a number of personal (e.g., gender, individual tendencies toward depression) and organizational (e.g., team cohesion, supervisor's support) variables. Results: The prevalence rate of workplace bullying was 15%. Regression analyses revealed that female workers reported higher levels of perceptions of being bullied than male workers. Additionally, depression was positively associated with perceptions of being bullied, whereas team cohesion, supervisor's support, and an innovation-oriented climate were negatively associated with being bullied. Conclusions: The present study demonstrates the importance of considering individual differences as predictors of bullying and, in particular, suggests that mental health promotion might play a role in bullying prevention. In addition, findings indicate that organizational interventions for workplace bullying may benefit from introducing elements aimed at improving group cohesion and organizational climate.


Centre for Sustainable HRM and Wellbeing

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Journal Article

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