The full text of this article


The escalation of conflict: a case study of bullying at work
by Stig Berge Matthiesen, Elizabeth Aasen, Gisken Holst, Kenneth Wie, Stale Einarsen
International Journal of Management and Decision Making (IJMDM), Vol. 4, No. 1, 2003


Abstract: This paper presents a rare case in the literature of workplace bullying: a victim who took her case to court, won, and then continued in her job, surrounded by her former bullies. The theoretical conflict escalation model of Evert van de Vliert is used to identify significant events and behaviour in the conflict process, categorising them as either conflict-escalating or conflict de-escalating, as well as strategic or spontaneous. Social support is discussed as a possible explanation of the ''happy ending'' of this particular bullying episode. Methodological constraints are discussed, including the distinction between different levels of research. A version of the conflict that is valid in the eyes of the victim may not be regarded as such by the opponent, nor by the group or organisation involved. However, we cannot ignore the individual perspective in the attempt to understand workplace bullying.


is only available to individual subscribers or to users at subscribing institutions.

Existing subscribers:
Go to Inderscience Online Journals to access the Full Text of this article.

Pay per view:
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.

Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Management and Decision Making (IJMDM):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:


    Username:        Password:         

Forgotten your password?

Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable). See our Orders page to subscribe.

If you still need assistance, please email