Introduction: Political skill and the job performance of bullies and legal restrictions
Bullying can have a demotivating impact on every individual affected. The next two papers first of all analyse the relationship between bullying and personal job performance. The second paper introduced describes the legal aspects which exist to protect employees being bullied at work.
Political skill and the job performance of bullies
“Political skill and the job performance of bullies” (Treadway, Shaughnessy, Breland, Yang, Reeves, 2013) is a study explaining how bullies can successfully influence the business environment and reach higher performance ratings. The study applies theories from ...view middle of the document...
The hypothesis set up before testing was: “The relationship between bullying and job performance will be moderated by political skill such that this relationship will be positive for highly politically skilled employees and negative for low political skill employees”.
The sample of the study was drawn from 76 professional employees at a mental health facility located in the Northwestern USA. They were asked in a questionnaire to indicate each person in their business environment that they considered to be a bully (Treadway, Shaughnessy, Breland, Yang, Reeves, 2013, p. 279).
Key finding of the study is that some bullies can manage to be recognized in a positive way by their supervisors as they can achieve to abuse their colleagues in a strategic way without notion of their supervisors. Even if they are highly manipulative, bullies can be seen as charming and friendly (Treadway, Shaughnessy, Breland, Yang, Reeves, 2013, p. 273). Bullies often behave this way in order to fulfil their personal goals and to improve their performance. The study is a first start to analyse the relationship between bullying and personal job performance. The study indicates that even the bully’s reputation creates “in targets that may allow them to gain valuable resources and commitments in organizations rather than any specific act of bullying” (Treadway, Shaughnessy, Breland, Yang, Reeves, 2013, p. 283).
Implications of bullying can be different, e.g. isolating individuals, withholding information or other counter-productive behaviours (Treadway, Shaughnessy, Breland, Yang, Reeves, 2013, p. 283).
One way to circumvent such bullying behaviours would be to incorporate measures of civility and camaraderie into employee’s performance evaluations. The main limitation of the study is that it was only done in one organization. To generalize it, the study should be drawn in other organizations and industries with a larger sample size to support or weaken the findings (Treadway, Shaughnessy, Breland, Yang, Reeves, 2013, pp. 284- 285).
“Bullying at Work – The Legal Position”
When considering bullying from a legal perspective the main issue is that there is no specific legislation permitting bullying at work. However it is illegal on various grounds (Porteous, J. 2002, p. 85). “Bullying at Work – The Legal Position” is a study examining what the already existing laws are and if they are protecting the affected employees well enough. Another important component of the study is the question whether specific laws regarding bullying at workplace should be created in the UK (Porteous, J. 2002, p. 77).
There are various laws described in the study explaining legal duties for employers to care about the employee’s health and safety. Health also means that the employees are in a good mental health and don’t have excessive and sustained stress levels at work. It is explained that stress can also be created through bullying by colleagues or managers. However in some...