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ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF WORKPLACE MISTREATMENT ON EMPLOYEES' HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY IN CAMEROON

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ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF WORKPLACE MISTREATMENT ON EMPLOYEES' HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Work holds a pivotal role in the lives of individuals, consuming a significant portion of their waking hours and exerting influence even during times of rest. (Dhanani et al., 2021) broadly defines the workplace as any location necessitated by an individual's job responsibilities, whether directly or indirectly controlled by the employee. This underscores the potential for workplace mistreatment, whether within the confines of the physical workplace or beyond, as long as it relates to work-related activities or the individual's job duties. Although the term "workplace mistreatment" typically garners attention, it's crucial to recognize its broader manifestations, encompassing various forms of mistreatment that can adversely affect employees and their organizations. A comprehensive examination of workplace mistreatment by the Washington State Department of Labour and Industries (2022) underscores its occurrence across different industries and occupations, with certain types of violence exhibiting predictable patterns within specific work environments. Despite the global recognition of workplace mistreatment as a significant issue, obtaining accurate data remains challenging, particularly in regions like Cameroon. While official records are scarce, anecdotal evidence and sporadic media reports suggest a prevalence of work-related mistreatment incidents. However, international statistics from organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) paint a concerning picture of workplace mistreatment worldwide. For example, in the United States, homicide ranks as the fourth leading cause of fatal occupational injuries, with women disproportionately affected by such incidents. Given the gravity of the situation, proactive measures are imperative to mitigate the incidence of workplace mistreatment. Additionally, the detrimental effects of workplace mistreatment such as incivility, bullying, and physical aggression on both psychological and physical well-being are widely recognized and supported by research. Similarly, physical aggression is linked to stress, diminished well-being, and injuries (Hodgins, 2020). On one hand, psychological discomfort, such as burnout, anxiety, despair, and hostility, is linked to incivility (De Cieri, H., & Lazarova, 2021). On the other hand, incivility is also connected to reduced emotional well-being (Taye, 2018). Initial research conducted through extensive surveys on workplace mistreatment revealed a correlation between being subjected to bullying at work and experiencing negative psychological well-being . This finding has been consistently supported by subsequent investigations. Undoubtedly, this is a recurring discovery in the literature on workplace bullying. There is consistent evidence that bullying is linked to elevated levels of self-reported stress, depression, and an increased risk of using psychoactive drugs. Bullying has significant adverse consequences on certain individuals, who may experience symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder and may even contemplate suicide (Suggala et al, 2020). Due to its correlation with stress, it is unsurprising that bullying has a detrimental effect on physical well-being, leading to somatic disorders, sleep issues, and an increased risk of heart disease (Suggala et al, 2020). The inherent lack of control in the process, combined with its personalized impact, renders it distinct as a stressor and in its influence on psychological well-being and functioning. Nevertheless, conventional stress management techniques, such as directly addressing the root cause, are ineffective. Thus, research and practical intervention strategies are essential for fostering safer and healthier work environments, thereby enhancing both employee well-being, safety and organizational productivity. This study will therefore carried out a survey  in order to assess the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' health and safety in the service industry in Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The management of concerned organizations and people managers sometimes underestimate the importance of health and safety policies and procedures. The primary focus of managers is to prevent mistreatment, accidents and eliminate health and safety concerns. Managers strive to minimize the physical and mental harm to workers, including the potential loss of life (De Cieri & Lazarova, 2021). However, employees have both a legal and moral obligation to attain the highest level of health and safety in their businesses. As a moral obligation, it is closely linked to the emotional dedication of employees to their organization. That is why it is crucial to prioritize and continuously address matters related to health and safety. Furthermore, failure to prioritize health and safety precautions might result in significant health issues. Ensuring health and safety is crucial as it can prevent workers from suffering from illnesses or injuries, which could potentially lead to fatalities and increase the number of dependents (Salin and Hoel, 2021). Therefore, service industry must prioritize investing in measures to keep their employees safe at the workplace. By doing so, employees will feel secure and develop a strong commitment to their organizations. Possible actions to address the issue may involve enhancing communication channels, enacting anti-harassment rules, and offering comprehensive training and assistance for both managers and staff. Additionally, it is imperative for all organizations to prioritize the well-being of their employees and provide them with an optimal work environment to facilitate their daily tasks. When an individual is employed by an organization, they begin a professional journey within that organization and become reliant on it. Therefore, it is crucial to assess the health and safety conditions of the service industry and understand how all the health and safety measures in place will safeguard the employee's life. This will foster a sense of dedication from the employee towards the organization. Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to assess the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' health and safety in the service industry in Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' health and safety in the service industry in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

1.Determine the psychological factors associated with workplace mistreatment among employees in the service industry in Cameroon.

2.Determine the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' health and safety in the service industry in Cameroon.

3.Determine whether workplace mistreatment influence employees' health and safety in the service industry in Cameroon

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What are the psychological factors associated with workplace mistreatment among employees in the service industry in Cameroon?

How does workplace mistreatment affect the health and safety of employees working in the service industry in Cameroon?

To what extent does workplace mistreatment influence the health and safety of employees in the service industry in Cameroon?

1.5  Research Hypothesis

H0: Workplace mistreatment has no significantly impact on employees health and safety in the service industry in Cameroon.

Ha: Workplace mistreatment has a significantly impact on employees health and safety in the service industry in Cameroon.

1.6  Significance of the Study

This study reveals a critical problem that impacts not only employees but also has wider consequences for the functioning of organizations and the well-being of society. The result of the finding is essential for policymakers, employers, and other stakeholders in order to create successful interventions and policies that promote safer and healthier work environments. Moreover, this study has practical ramifications for employers operating in the service sector in Cameroon. Organizations can enhance employee well-being and productivity by implementing tailored methods to counteract the various ways in which mistreatment might impair employees' health and safety. Furthermore, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' health and safety in the service industry in Cameroon.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' health and safety in the service industry in Cameroon.  Empirically, the study will determine the psychological factors associated with workplace mistreatment among employees, the impact of workplace mistreatment on employees' health and safety and determine whether workplace mistreatment influence employees' health and safety in the service industry in Cameroon

Geographically, the study will be delimited to employees in some selected health centers in Yaounde, Cameroon.

1.8 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.9 Definition of Terms

Workplace mistreatment: any form of unjust or oppressive conduct targeted at an employee. This includes behaviours such as verbal mistreatment, coercion, bias, or deliberate obstruction, which frequently result in an unfriendly or poisonous work atmosphere (Pinkos, 2018).

Well-being: the overall state of being comfortable, healthy, and happy, both physically and mentally.

Incivility: disrespectful behavior that violates social norms of respect, courtesy, and consideration for others

Bullying: involves repeated aggressive behavior intended to harm, intimidate, or exert control over another person, especially when there is an imbalance of power.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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