Trpinčenje na delovnem mestu v času krize

Podatki kažejo, da zaznana izpostavljenost trpinčenju na delovnem mestu v času krize ne narašča, nasprotno, marsikje celo pada. Kljub temu so ti podatki zaskrbljujoči, ker lahko odražajo postopno dvigovanje praga sprejemljivosti negativnih pojavov in celo institucionalizacijo trpinčenja na delovnem mestu.

Naslov prispevka: Workplace bullying during economic crisis: what do figures show?
Avtorica: Tanja Urdih Lazar
Vrsta predstavitve: Ustna predstavitev
Strokovno srečanje: 9th International Conference on Workplace Bullying and Harassment “Promoting Dignity and Justice at Work”
Kraj in čas srečanja: Milan (Italija), 17.-20. junij 2014


Aim: In order to measure prevalence of workplace bullying in Slovenia the first national survey using the Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ-R) was carried out in 2008 and it was afterwards repeated in 2011 with the aim to follow the changes induced by the economic crisis.

Methods: Data for both surveys were gathered by personal interviews during interviewers' visits in the respondents' homes in spring 2008, before the crisis emerged, and in spring 2011 during the global recession that hit Slovenian economy and also its labour market severely. The surveys were part of broader studies applied on a representative sample of adult Slovenian inhabitants.

Results: On the basis of literature review it could be expected that the perceived exposure to bullying and victimization at work would increase as a result of crisis’s impact on different organizational factors (e. g. increased competition, job insecurity, workload and role ambiguity, lower employability, less control over one’s situation / work), and especially due to broad organizational restructuring (e. g. precarious work arrangements, outsourcing, layoffs). But this was not the case. The overall prevalence rate of workplace bullying (including the category of occasionally bullied respondents) in the last six months before the survey has dropped from 10.4% in 2008 to 5.6% in 2011. This difference is even bigger when considering only the percentage of those having been severely bullied: in 2008, 1.5% of the respondents reported that they were exposed to bullying “several times per week” or “almost daily” and only 0.2% in 2011. The proportion of bullying witnesses has also dropped but it still remained considerably high between the two waves of the survey (18.8% in 2008 and 14.6 in 2011). According to both surveys, the perpetrators of bullying are mostly supervisors and managers (81% in 2008 and 58.3% in 2011).

Even though surprising, these findings are consistent with the data gathered within the framework of the European working conditions survey (EWCS). In the EU27, the percentage of the respondents having been subjected to bullying / harassment in the last twelve months has dropped from 5.1% in 2005 to 4.1% in 2010. In all, a bigger or a smaller decline has been noted in 25 out of 31 countries included in both waves of the EWCS.

Conclusions: Findings of both longitudinal studies covering periods prior to the economic crisis and during its most intensive stage should be analyzed further considering multiple changes on societal and organizational levels in order to put more light on crisis’s impact on negative behaviours at the workplace, especially workplace bullying. The economic crisis is certainly related to increasing job insecurity and power imbalance between the management’s and employees’ sides. Since supervisors and managers take a significant role during the restructuring processes, the employees are mostly negatively hit by those organizational changes and thus less able to resist unfair treatment. Moreover, some researches show that actions previously perceived as non-acceptable can become acceptable during a long-lasting restructuring. Thus, they become a “normal” part of the organizational culture.