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WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: ASSESSING THE IMPACT AND PREVENTING STRATEGIES IN CAMEROON

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WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: ASSESSING THE IMPACT AND PREVENTING STRATEGIES IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Acts of workplace violence, such as physical aggression, verbal intimidation, harassment, and similar conduct, all lead to the humiliation, degradation, or harm of an individual's physical and psychological well-being, value, and respect. Workplace violence, as described by Fletcher, Cavanaugh, & Brakel (2020), can take the form of threats, verbal abuse, or even homicide. Moreover, the matter of physical and psychological violence has garnered considerable focus in both developing and affluent nations (Di Martino et al., 2023). Richards (2018) defines workplace violence as the occurrence of abuse, threats, or physical attack towards employees in relation to their job, specifically during their commute to and from work. Acts of violence in the workplace have adverse effects on both the productivity and performance of a business and its employees. Sinha (2018) argued that the effectiveness of employees' performance depends on their willingness and readiness to actively participate in their job duties. Furthermore, Stephen (2023) explained that managers must guarantee that employees consistently and effectively carry out their jobs in order to achieve organizational objectives. Given the intense and varied nature of the work environment, it is probable that confrontations will occur, leading to verbal threats, shouting, swearing, physical altercations, heightened emotions, and other forms of violence (Kennedy, 2018). Despite these issues, it is noteworthy that the civil service is not typically considered one of the industry sectors that is most frequently affected by workplace violence. Moreover, workplace violence creates an environment characterized by anxiety and apprehension, thereby impeding employees' ability to make logical and reasoned decisions. When people feel threatened or insecure, their cognitive functions may be compromised, resulting in a higher probability of committing errors or displaying subpar decision-making skills. These results can have a substantial effect on the quality of work and the overall effectiveness of the organization. This study will therefore carried out a survey  in order to assess the impact and prevention strategies of workplace violence in Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Historically, there has been a more focus and recognition of physical violence rather than psychological abuse towards employees in Cameroonian organizations (Gadegaard et al., 2018). However, workplace violence can arise from a variety of causes. This could be a manifestation of unbridled aggression exhibited by an individual who is either mentally ill or under the influence of narcotics. Alternatively, violence can be employed as a means of instilling fear and accomplishing a particular objective or result. Another potential factor may be the uncontrolled manifestation of dissatisfaction, encompassing prolonged discomfort, anger, or conflicts arising from cultural or religious differences among employees in organizations  (Hong, 2019). However, it is the responsibility of management to ensure the prevention of such hostile attitudes and behaviours (ILO, 2021). Moreover, the occurrence of violence in the workplace might foster an atmosphere of trepidation and uncertainty among staff members. These factors can result in diminished morale, disconnection, and a dearth of motivation to excel. When employees experience a lack of safety in their workplace, their level of dedication to their activities decreases and they may deliberately try to avoid specific responsibilities or contacts. Despite the existence of published papers on the adverse effects of workplace violence. LeBlanc and Kelloway examined the psychological and physical symptoms experienced by expected victims of coworker-initiated and public-initiated violence, as reported in their study.Additional studies examining the effects of workplace violence have investigated many aspects, such as the correlation between job discontent and productivity, the connection between affective commitment and turnover intentions, and the association between work behaviours and increased job neglect and lower job performance (Zhang et al., 2018). Furthermore, a study conducted by Courcy, Morin & Madore  (2019) revealed that exposure to violence in the workplace might be used as a predictor for fear responses, sleep disruption, and gastrointestinal issues. Also, Baron and Neuman (2021) discovered that the misconduct of managers can have detrimental effects on others and lead to the misconduct of employees. Nevertheless, companies can exacerbate workplace violence issues by the precedents they establish. Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to assess the impact and prevention strategies of workplace violence in Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess the impact and prevention strategies of workplace violence in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

Examine the various form of workplace violence prevalence in Cameroon.

Identify the factors contributing to workplace violence among employees of civil service in Cameroon.

Examine the relationship between workplace violence and employees' job performance among employees in Cameroon

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What is the prevalence of workplace violence among employees in Cameroonian organizations?

What are the factors contributing to workplace violence among employees in Cameroon? 

What is the relationship between workplace violence and employees' job performance among employees in Cameroon?

1.5  Research Hypotheses

H0: There is no significant effect of workplace violence on job performance among employees in Cameroon.

Ha: There is a significant effect of workplace violence on job performance among employees in Cameroon.

1.6  Significance of the Study

This study findings will help government and policymakers in developing interventions to safeguard the well-being of workers. Also, organizations will have better understand the financial implications and justify investments in prevention and intervention programs. Additionally, 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 and prevention strategies of workplace violence in Cameroon.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on the impact and prevention strategies of workplace violence in Cameroon. Empirically, the study will examine the various form of workplace violence prevalence in Cameroonian organization, examine the relationship between workplace violence and employees' job performance among employees in Cameroon and identify the factors contributing to workplace violence among employees in Cameroon.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to employees 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 violence: any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other aggressive behavior that occurs in or is related to the workplace (Al-Shiyab & Ababneh, 2018)


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