The role of bystanders in workplace bullying: An overview of theories and empirical research

Mieneke Pouwelse*, Roelie Mulder, Eva Gemzøe Mikkelsen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


    This chapter gives a contemporary overview of extant international research focusing on issues related to bystanders in workplace bullying. First, the chapter introduces concepts and typologies of bystanders as found in the literature, after which follows a presentation of the early and later studies on bystanders and bystander behaviour. While the early studies mainly focused on the prevalence of observing bullying, later studies explored typologies of bystanders, consequences of being a bystander as well as the antecedents of bystander behaviour. As such, there has been a paradigmatic shift within the field of workplace bullying with bystanders now being seen as part of the problem and therefore as a possible part of the solution. The small but expanding body of bystander research has employed a surprisingly wide range of complementary methodologies which shows promising and consistent findings and enhances the robustness of the research. The chapter also elaborates on possible interventions and on a model of intervention building from theory and empirical findings. Finally, the chapter concludes with practical implications and future research
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPathways of job-related negative behavior
    Subtitle of host publicationHandbooks of workplace bullying, emotional abuse and harassment
    EditorsP. D'Cruz, E. Noronha, E. Baillien, B. Catley, K. Harlos, A. Hogh, E. Gemzøe Mikkelsen
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    Number of pages37
    ISBN (Print)978-981-13-0934-2
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2019

    Publication series

    SeriesHandbooks of Workplace Bullying, Emotional Abuse and Harassment


    • workpace bullying
    • bystanders


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