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WORKPLACE BULLYING: INVESTIGATING ITS PATTERNS AND EFFECTS ON EMPLOYEES IN CAMEROON

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WORKPLACE BULLYING: INVESTIGATING ITS PATTERNS AND EFFECTS ON EMPLOYEES IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

In today's corporate world, workplace aggressiveness has become a common occurrence. Although efforts to promote a positive workplace culture and employee well-being have been made, incidents of violence, conflict, and bullying continue to exist. Emotions intensify, conflicts escalate, and people experience aggressive actions without any obvious reason. This problem not only diminishes the motivation and efficiency of workers but also presents substantial obstacles to the achievement of organizational goals and the ability to keep staff. Bullying is a highly troubling form of workplace aggression. Workplace bullying entails the persistent harassment of an individual by one or more colleagues. It can manifest in different ways, such as verbal mistreatment, coercion, isolation, subversion, and even explicit physical endangerment. Similarly, Robert (2018), defines bullying as the persistent mistreatment or harassment of an individual or group within a work environment. Similarly, Einarsen et al. (2020), states that bullying is a combination of verbal abuse and behaviours that are humiliating, or intimidating.  However, the consequences are serious, harming individuals’ health and interfering with their business interest. Additionally, bullying by coworkers and employers at work is a significant element that can impact employee satisfaction. Workplace harassment according to Brodsky (2019) and workplace abuse (Keashly, 2018) are other terms for the unethical and unpleasant situations that occur in the workplace, which are known as workplace bullying.  The distinguishing patterns of workplace bullying, as opposed to typical arguments or disagreements, lies in its enduring duration and the involvement of power relations. Bullies frequently establish their authority by using any perceived weaknesses of their targets, in order to impose control and erode their victims' confidence and professional reputation. Furthermore, workplace bullying can have severe consequences, impacting both the targeted individual and the overall work environment. Individuals who are subjected to bullying may have significant psychological suffering, which can manifest as heightened levels of anxiety, sadness, and a decrease in their sense of self-worth (Einarsen et al., 2020). Additionally, individuals may experience medical ailments such as migraines, sleep disturbances, and even cardiovascular complications as a result of the prolonged stress caused by the bullying ((Nielsen et al., 2019). However, workplace bullying have extensive ramifications for the dynamics and effectiveness of an organization. If employees experience a sense of insecurity or danger in their work environment, their ability to effectively cooperate, create, and contribute to the organization's objectives is diminished. Alternatively, individuals may choose to isolate themselves socially, disengage from their current environment, or actively pursue employment opportunities elsewhere, resulting in a higher rate of employee turnover and the departure of valuable skilled individuals. Moreover, the existence of bullying conduct can damage the company's brand, dissuading prospective employees and consumers alike. Given that everyone expects a comfortable working environment, unpleasant and unethical incidents will negatively impact organizational results. These results include work performance, employee morale, and intention to leave. Bullied workers won't perform their assigned tasks well or take part in extracurricular activities that give the company a competitive edge. Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to investigate the pattern and effects of workplace bullying on employees in Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Workplace bullying is a widespread problem that impacts individuals in different businesses and regions. Workplace bullying comprises a variety of harmful actions, such as verbal abuse, intimidation, exclusion, and undermining an individual's work performance or well-being. The prevalence, patterns and effects of workplace bullying may vary considerably from those seen in other countries or locations. However, the incidence and appearance of bullying behaviours in Cameroonian workplaces may be influenced by factors such as hierarchical systems, power differentials, and cultural norms. In addition, bullying frequently entails the misuse or abuse of authority. Likewise, bullying behaviour erodes a person's right to dignity at work and makes the target feel helpless and unfair, which can lower morale, impair performance, and ultimately cause a person to quit. However, workplace bullying acts has serious repercussions that are impossible to ignore. According to numerous studies (O'Moore, Seigne, & McGuire, 2018; Zapf, 2019; Mikkelsen & Einarsen, 2021), bully have negative effects on people. Furthermore, posts-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and threats to an individual's identity are linked to bullying (LutgenSandvik et al., 2018). While, workplace bully has a negative impact on the organization as well. According to several studies (Keashly & Neuman, 2018; Harvey et al., 2019; O'Connell et al., 2019), victims of workplace bullying exhibit higher absenteeism rates, lower levels of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and lower levels of motivation at work. Because workplace bullying has detrimental effects on both individuals and organizations, it is now imperative Companies must prioritize the development and implementation of comprehensive anti-bullying policies and procedures. Thus, it is in the light of this, the study seeks to investigate the pattern and effects of workplace bullying on employees in Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the pattern and effects of workplace bullying on employees in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

Determine the prevalence of workplace bullying in Cameroon.

Examine the forms of workplace bullying in organizations in Cameroon.

Examine the effects of workplace bullying on employee well-being.

Determine the impact of workplace bullying on organizational effectiveness.

1.4 Research Questions 

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What is the prevalence level of workplace bullying in Cameroon?

What are the various forms of workplace bullying observed within organizations in Cameroon?

How does workplace bullying affect the well-being of employees?

What is the impact of workplace bullying on organizational effectiveness?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

H0: There is no significant relationship between workplace bullying and its effects on employees in Cameroon.

Ha: There is a significant relationship between workplace bullying and its effects on employees in Cameroon.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The results will provide valuable insights to policymakers, human resource experts, and organizational executives regarding the extent and characteristics of workplace bullying in Cameroon. This will aid in the creation of specific initiatives and policies aimed at preventing and dealing with such conduct. Furthermore, the study will reveal cultural variables that impact the occurrence and interpretation of workplace harassment, enhancing the overall comprehension of this phenomena in many cultural settings. In Cameroon, organizations can enhance employee well-being, productivity, and organizational efficiency by effectively dealing with workplace bullying. Moreover, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regards to the pattern and effects of workplace bullying on employees in Cameroon.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on the pattern and effects of workplace bullying on employees in Cameroon. Empirically, this study will determine the prevalence of workplace bullying in Cameroon, examine the forms of workplace bullying in organizations in Cameroon, examine the effects of workplace bullying on employee well-being and determine the impact of workplace bullying on organizational effectiveness.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to employees of some selected organizations in Limbe, 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 bullying: refers to the persistent mistreatment or harassment of an individual or group within a work environment. 

Employees: are people who are employed by a company to carry out particular duties or responsibilities in exchange for pay.


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



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