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How are witnessed workplace bullying and bystander roles related to perceived care quality, work engagement, and turnover intentions in the healthcare sector?: A longitudinal study
Malmö University, Centre for Work Life and Evaluation Studies (CTA). Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Urban Studies (US).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2077-0243
Malmö University, Centre for Work Life and Evaluation Studies (CTA). Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Urban Studies (US).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2207-0996
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of School Development and Leadership (SOL). Malmö University, Centre for Work Life and Evaluation Studies (CTA).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5972-4933
2023 (English)In: International Journal of Nursing Studies, ISSN 0020-7489, E-ISSN 1873-491X, Vol. 138, article id 104429Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BackgroundWorkplace bullying is widespread in the healthcare sector and the negative effects are well known. However, less attention has been paid to bystanders who witness bullying in the workplace. Bystanders can affect the bullying process by engaging in active, passive, or destructive behaviors. There is a need to study work-related and organizational consequences of witnessing bullying and bystander behaviors.ObjectiveThe aim was to explore how witnessed workplace bullying and bystander behaviors are associated with work-related and organizational consequences, such as perceived quality of care, work engagement, and turnover intentions, among healthcare workers over time.DesignLongitudinal design. An online questionnaire was administered twice over the course of six months.Setting(s)Employees in the healthcare sector in Sweden, such as physicians, nurses, and assistant nurses, responded to the questionnaire.Participants1144 participants provided longitudinal data.MethodsStructural equation modeling was used to explore the associations between witnessed bullying, bystander behavior, work-related and organizational factors over time.ResultsWitnessed workplace bullying (B = − 0.18, 95 % CI [− 0.23 to − 0.12]) and the bystander outsider role (B = − 0.24, 95 % CI [− 0.29 to − 0.19]) were statistically significantly related to a decrease in perceived quality of care. Work engagement was statistically significantly predicted by all three bystander roles over time; positively by the defender role (B = 0.11, 95 % CI [0.05–0.17]), and negatively by the outsider role (B = − 0.23, 95 % CI [− 0.29 to − 0.16]), and the assistant role (B = − 0.32, 95 % CI [− 0.41 to − 0.24]). The outsider role (B = 0.12, 95 % CI [0.02–0.22]), the assistant role (B = 0.17, 95 % CI [0.03–0.30]), and witnessed workplace bullying (B = 0.18, 95 % CI [0.08–0.29]), all positively predicted increased turnover intentions at a subsequent time point.ConclusionsIn addition to the direct negative impact workplace bullying has on those targeted by it, witnessing bullying and taking different bystander roles can have work-related and organizational consequences by influencing perceived care quality, employees' work engagement, and their intention to leave the organization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2023. Vol. 138, article id 104429
Keywords [en]
Bystander Care quality Healthcare Turnover intentions Witness Work engagement Workplace bullying
National Category
Psychology Work Sciences
Research subject
Organisational studies; Arbete och organisation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-56913DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2022.104429ISI: 000914216200001PubMedID: 36577260Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85147457631OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-56913DiVA, id: diva2:1722109
Part of project
Witnessing workplace bullying, Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2018-00228Available from: 2022-12-27 Created: 2022-12-27 Last updated: 2023-07-05Bibliographically approved

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Holm, KristofferJönsson, SandraMuhonen, Tuija

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