Are Rational Self-Interested Leadership Behaviors Contributing to the Workplace Bullying Phenomenon in Canada and the United States?


Workplace bullying is a phenomenon in American and Canadian organizations that has been ignored for many years and as a result targeted employees are suffering [1-3]. Workplace bullying is at epidemic proportions with little done to address the issue. The workplace for bullied employees has become an uncivilized and hostile environment [4]. Leaders who embrace a rational self-interested approach to leading are contributing to the workplace bullying phenomenon. Using Chi Square tests of independence, the study was conducted to determine the extent to which rational self-interested leaders rely on bullying behaviors when interacting with employees. Three hundred fifty-five employees were asked to complete a survey consisting of fifteen bullying behavior statements. The results of the Chi Square tests indicate a significant relationship exists between employee demographics vs. certain bullying behaviors associated with threats to personal standing, professional status and destabilization. The results further reveal that rational self-interested leaders are relying on bullying in three areas: threat to personal standing, threat to professional status and destabilization. It was also noted that if the rational self-interest leader did not make changes the problem of workplace bullying would continue to escalate. The recommendation was that rational self-interested leaders could benefit by changing their perspective on employees to include more personal and humane treatment, rewards, and recognition.

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L. Barrow, S. Kolberg, J. Mirabella and A. Roter, "Are Rational Self-Interested Leadership Behaviors Contributing to the Workplace Bullying Phenomenon in Canada and the United States?," American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, Vol. 3 No. 6A, 2013, pp. 33-38. doi: 10.4236/ajibm.2013.36A004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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