Witnesses to bullying more likely to leave than targets: Study

Sense of justice can make bystanders want to leave
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/14/2012

While Victims of workplace bullying have a tough time of it, employees who witness the bullying may actually be more likely to leave the workplace because of the unhealthy behaviour, according to a study from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

When someone is not bullied directly, the impact of bullying within the work unit has a stronger impact on him than when he is also the direct target of bullying, according to the study, which analyzed data involving 357 nurses at 41 hospital units in Western Canada.

Simply working in an aggressive environment can lead to turnover intentions because bullying represents “a severe moral transgression that creates an abstract sense of moral uneasiness,” it said.