Journal of Business Ethics 137 (2):415-429 (2016)

The current study investigated how work-related disagreements—coined as conflicts—relate to workplace bullying, from the perspective of the target as well as the perpetrator. We hypothesized a positive indirect association between task conflicts and bullying through relationship conflicts. This process accounted for both for targets and perpetrators of bullying. Targets are distinguished from perpetrators in our assumption that this indirect effect is boosted by distributive conflict behavior, being yielding for targets and forcing for perpetrators. Results in a large representative sample of the Flemish working population confirmed our hypotheses. Additionally, our study also revealed a direct effect from task conflicts to bullying in the analyses regarding the indirect as well as the conditional indirect effects. For perpetrators, both the indirect and direct relationships are moderated by forcing, underlining the importance of distributive conflict behavior particularly for the enactment of bullying behaviors.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-015-2563-y
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