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Workplace Bullying, Power and Organizational Politics: A study of the Portuguese Banking sector


  • Ana Teresa Verdasca



This paper tries to shed light about the political dimension of workplace bullying through the quantitative analysis of work environment factors, like perceptions of organizational politics, work overload and internal competition, and the qualitative analysis of accounts of respondents to a questionnaire launched in the Portuguese banking sector. Our sample is made up of 561 valid responses containing 64 stories of bullying episodes and, in the qualitative data, political behaviours occur associated with organizational practices, perceived as bullying, which may reinforce the connexion between political behaviours and workplace bullying. The organizational practices indentified were: “Being left idle”, “The denying of promotion” and “Staff Appraisal for Performance”. A deeper analysis of power was carried out to identify the main sources of power (reward, coercive, legitimate, expert and reference) embedded in accounts of bullying behaviours. The main sources of power identified were coercive and negative reward power. These results reinforce the previous findings about the power dimension of bullying and open new directions for future research concerning the different sources of power behind bullying behaviours.

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  • Ana Teresa Verdasca, 2011. "Workplace Bullying, Power and Organizational Politics: A study of the Portuguese Banking sector," Working Papers wp062011, Socius, Socio-Economics Research Centre at the School of Economics and Management (ISEG) of the Technical University of Lisbon.
  • Handle: RePEc:soc:wpaper:wp062011

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    bullying; power; political behaviour;

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