The moderating effect of laissez-faire leadership on the relationship between co-worker conflicts and new cases of workplace bullying: A true prospective design
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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In line with the work environment hypothesis, interpersonal conflict has been proposed as an important antecedent of workplace bullying. However, longitudinal studies on this relationship have been scarce. The aim of this study was to examine whether co‐worker conflict predicted new cases of self‐reported workplace bullying 2 years later and whether laissez‐faire leadership moderated this relationship. In a sample of 1,772 employees, drawn from the Norwegian working population, the hypotheses that co‐worker conflict increased the risk of subsequently reporting being a victim of workplace bullying and that laissez‐faire leadership strengthened this relationship were supported. This study empirically supports the work environment hypothesis by showing that co‐worker conflict within a true prospective research design is a source of new cases of bullying and that the lack and avoidance of leadership, through the enactment of a laissez‐faire leadership style, likely is a main source for co‐worker conflict to develop into workplace bullying.