Title: How do perpetrators experience bullying at the workplace?

Authors: Charlotte Bloch

Addresses: Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, 5 Oester Farimagsgade, DK – 1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark

Abstract: Research on workplace bullying has primarily been carried out on the basis of the experiences and perspective of the victim. The objective of the present paper is to explore perpetrators' experiences. The analysis is based on qualitative interviews with perpetrators and on theories of interaction and emotions. Four analytical themes are identified: moral classification of victims, emotions, actions and moral justification. The analysis shows how perpetrators classify the victims as violators of basic norms of the work community, how these experienced violations trigger moral emotions such as contempt, anger, vengeance and disgust, and how these emotions are converted into negative actions. The analysis also shows how perpetrators use different types of justification-seeking practice. The results are discussed in relation to the current research. The paper concludes by summing up the results and places them within the interactional dynamics between victims, witnesses and perpetrators, which is the breeding ground of bullying.

Keywords: perpetrators; workplace bullying; experiences; interaction; emotion; negative actions; moral justification; norm violations; basic norms; moral emotions; contempt; anger; vengeance; disgust.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2012.049519

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2012 Vol.5 No.2, pp.159 - 177

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 05 Oct 2012 *

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