Asymmetric intergroup bullying: the enactment and maintenance of societal inequality at work

Soylu, Soydan and Sheehy-Skeffington, Jennifer (2015) Asymmetric intergroup bullying: the enactment and maintenance of societal inequality at work. Human Relations, 68 (7) . pp. 1099-1129. ISSN 0018-7267 (doi:10.1177/0018726714552001)

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Abstract

What does inequality mean for dysfunctional organizational behaviours, such as workplace bullying? This article argues that workplace bullying can be understood as a manifestation of intergroup dynamics originating beyond the organization. We introduce the construct of asymmetric intergroup bullying: the disproportionate mistreatment of members of low status groups, with the intended effect of enhancing the subordination of that group in society at large. Analysis of data from 38 interviews with public and private sector workers in Turkey depicts a pattern of asymmetric intergroup bullying, undertaken to achieve organizational and broader sociopolitical goals. Respondents reported bullying acts used to get rid of unwanted personnel, with the goal of avoiding severance pay, or of removing supporters of the former government from positions of political and economic influence. Bullying was also described as working towards the dominance of the sociocultural worldview of one political group over another. We discuss asymmetric intergroup bullying as one mechanism through which acute intergroup hierarchy in the broader society corrupts management practice and employee interactions, in turn exacerbating economic inequality along group lines.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online before print January 21, 2015
Keywords (uncontrolled): bullying, inequality, intergroup relations, management, qualitative, social dominance theory, Turkey, workplace
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
Item ID: 15503
Notes on copyright: Soylu, S., & Sheehy-Skeffington, J. (2015). Asymmetric intergroup bullying: The enactment and maintenance of societal inequality at work. Human Relations, 68(7), 1099–1129. Copyright © The Author(s) 2015. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726714552001
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Depositing User: Soydan Soylu
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 15:09
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2019 00:17
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/15503

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