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The Relationship Between Supervisor Personality, Supervisors’ Perceived Stress and Workplace Bullying

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This study investigated the relationship between supervisor personality and subordinate reports of exposure to bullying and harassment at work. Three research questions were examined: (a) Is there a direct relationship between supervisor personality and reports of workplace bullying? (b) Is there an interaction between supervisor personality and supervisors’ perceived stress as predictors of workplace bullying? (c) Will subordinates who experience bullying at their workplace rate their supervisor’s personality more negatively (negative halo effect)? The sample consisted of 207 supervisors and employees within 70 Norwegian restaurants. Supervisors low on conscientiousness, high on neuroticism and portraying high levels of exposure to stress were the subject of significantly more reports from subordinates of exposure to workplace bullying. An interaction between agreeableness and stress was found showing that agreeableness is related to bullying under low levels of stress. In addition, subordinates who perceived their supervisor as being low on agreeableness and high on introversion reported significantly more workplace bullying, supporting a negative halo effect hypothesis. Keywordsleadership–bullying–harassment–personality–romance of leadership
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