The Role of Personality in Workplace Bullying Research

  • Roger PerssonEmail author
  • Eva Gemzøe MikkelsenEmail author
  • Annie HoghEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbooks of Workplace Bullying, Emotional Abuse and Harassment book series (HWBEAH, volume 2)


Relying on international literature, the aim of this chapter is to expand the understanding of the relationship between personality and workplace bullying. The hope is to inspire, and possibly deepen, future research endeavours on this topic. The chapter is divided into three main sections that in turn (a) address how personality fits into workplace bullying research, (b) elaborate important empirical studies and (c) discuss extant and future research challenges. It is argued that the concepts of workplace bullying and personality to some extent share theoretical assumptions and empirical procedures. It is also argued that additional benefits and insights may be gained by moving beyond the personality trait perspective commonly adopted in workplace bullying research, by perhaps using a more person-centred approach to personality or by adopting other personality perspectives that focus on abilities, motivations and needs. To address the complexities and dynamics that are associated with the study of people’s personalities in the workplace bullying context, there seems to be a need for imaginative thinking and new study designs. This may, for example, entail studies that simultaneously focus on the personalities of targets of workplace bullying, perpetrators and bystanders. It may also entail studies that focus on how personality matters at different stages in the workplace bullying process and in the formal management of workplace bullying (e.g. who reports workplace bullying and how does the workplace bullying episode reach a conclusion).


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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