Evaluation of the Effects of a Bullying at Work Intervention for Middle Managers

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Oct 18;17(20):7566. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17207566.


The aim of the study is to evaluate the effects of a workplace bullying intervention based on the training of middle managers regarding bullying awareness, the consequences of bullying, strategies in conflict resolution and mediation/negotiation abilities. Overall, 142 randomly selected middle managers participated in the study. First, participants completed an information record and two scales assessing bullying strategies, role conflict and role ambiguity. The last two scales were completed again in a second phase three months after the intervention had finished. The intervention produced a decrease in the following bullying strategies: effects on self-expression and communication, effects on personal reputation and effects on occupational situation and quality of life, with all of the mentioned bullying strategies being suffered by part of the sample. In addition, the conflict role decreased in the group which received the intervention. Moreover, the decrease in the effects of the bullying strategy effects on occupational situation and quality of life was especially important in managers with higher responsibilities within the workplace. Results are discussed in the framework that (1) leadership practices and, more specifically, conflict resolution skills are strongly responsible for bullying at work; and (2) the importance of intervening in the early stages of the bullying process as a key element in the correction, but also as a potential prevention element, of bullying in the workplace.

Keywords: intervention; middle managers; psychosocial safety climate; workplace bullying.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bullying / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Leadership*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personnel Management
  • Psychosocial Support Systems
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Work
  • Workplace / psychology*